A supporter once called out, “Governor Stevenson, all thinking people are for you!” And Adlai Stevenson answered, “That’s not enough. I need a majority.”
Why is it that people always seem to be lamenting the fact that they are not being listened to? They seem to be demanding action against venality and corruption in the political discourse but yet it is in their hands to take action and apparently, they do utilise this right.
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But still, post-elections opinions and analysis are always pessimistic in Pakistan. The political economy of corruption and the sociopsychological aspects of this paradox have largely not been discussed in the social sciences. However, there are a few things that may help to answer why people vote for corrupt politicians.
1. Because politicians promise the same things that the people aspire for
We have got a political party that rules a province with this slogan and mission. However, all of these things seem to be MIA in the province.
2. Because some politicians are successful and rich in their private lives and this attracts ‘rational voters’
People get impressed by cash and show of money. They never bother to wonder where the money came from. We have got people who even judge a politician’s calibre by his success in his marital life.
Biwi tau tik nahi saki, khandaan tau jorr nahi paya and khud bheek manga lagta hai aur mulk ko kya khaak theek kareyga!
3. Because sometimes politicians exploit hate and ethnic sentiments
Hate is a good vote bank generator. The Americans did something similar.
4. Because some of them have had the same story as us
Because some politicians really look so ‘awaami’ and you can easily relate to them.
5. Because we are too dependent on them and have no choice but to trust them
When you are suffering too much from destitution and even basic facilities do not exist, you have NO option but to simply vote.
6. Because people believe that the politicians really care about them
People who travel all the way from abroad and present themselves as Messiahs have more convincing powers and potential to lead aqalmand awaam.
7. Because people get disappointed and think that the next one will do better
When one politician breaks your expectations badly, every candidate looks like Nelson Mandela or Jinnah and you vote for them blindly to get ‘salvation’.
8.Because politicians know and exploit the fact that the people are not really educated
They just don’t know what’s going on or what’s being done to them. They don’t even realize what do they get out of it or perhaps even don’t know what are they supposed to get.