What Chennai voter wants: above all, the odd-even scheme!

Their top priorities are reducing traffic congestion and pollution, ADR survey finds

GN Bureau | May 4, 2016


#odd even   #democracy   #ADR   #Tamil Nadu   #Chennai   #governance   #politics   #Elections  


When people of Chennai go out to vote for the next state government on May 16, what will be the issues top most in their minds? Curiously, they will be thinking less about jobs, ‘good governance’, and the usual stuff, and more about traffic congestion and pollution – precisely the matters for which the Delhi government has found a debatable solution in the odd-even scheme.

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In the run-up to the assembly elections, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) conducted a survey of over 16,000 respondents in every constituency of Tamil Nadu ending in February 2016. This was the largest survey done so far in the state, says the ADR in a release. The purpose of the survey is to find out what voters really want from the government and how they rate the performance on the issues that are important to them.
 
When asked for their top three priorities, the Chennai voters said that traffic congestion, water and air pollution and noise pollution were the top priorities.
 
The table below gives the percentage of people who said that the issue was one of the top three priorities for them. So 48.08% of voters said that traffic congestion was one of the top three priorities for them, 34.84% of voters said that for water and air pollution, and 33.73% for noise pollution.
 
Clearly they show that issues of traffic and pollution are the top priorities for them. About 83% of voters gave one of these three as their top priority.
 

 
Better employment opportunities, lower food prices and facility for cyclists and pedestrians were also among the top priorities.
 
It is also interesting to note what issues were not priorities for them. For instance reservation for jobs, education, terrorism, strong military, corruption, were not top priorities.
 
Performance rating of government
Among the worst rated performance was on traffic congestion and pollution. These unfortunately are among the top three priorities for the people. There were a total of 25 issues for which they gave priorities and then rated government’s performance. Thus for the top three priorities, traffic congestion was ranked 24th and noise pollution was ranked 21st out of 25, better employment opportunities 12th, and drinking water 23rd . So high priority issues for voters had very bad performance.
 
Conclusion
If voters expect good performance from the government, they are likely to be disappointed. In democracy as played out today, one party has to merely defeat the other party, not necessarily deliver good governance. To win they seem to resort to freebies for voters rather than deliver good governance.
 

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