March 26, 2011

Why your vote counts

Can we really make a difference in an election? At the local level for the City Council, in the Assembly poll or for the Lok Sabha?
Or are politicians making us looking like fools once elections are over?
I think we have been fooled time and again because we allow these reps to get away.
Can you recall the name of the man who was elected Member of Parliament for the South Chennai seat?
Clue: he was from the AIADMK party.
Clue; he was not a film star
Clue: he was a man some AIADMK cadres knew.
The man's name is Rajendran and he is from suburban Chitlapakkam. He won by a whisker, he posed for pictures, he received garlands, he was seen in Delhi a few times and that was the last we saw and heard of him. At least in this part of a huge, high-profile constituency.
Winners of a losing party in this part of the country can be pretty soft.
In the end, it seems to be a game of numbers. So, can we make a difference?
Friend K. Satyanarayan, a book publisher who also has an interest in politics and community life was encouraged with the launch of two web sites for this state election ( and
So he did some homework and mailed us some interesting notes.
• There are 206,078 voters in the Mylapore constituency for the 2011 Assembly elections
• In the past two elections in 2001 and 2006, the winner polled around 62,000 votes.
• The victory margins have been very low in 2001 and 2006. It was as low as 6,047 votes in 2001 and just 1,657 votes in 2006.
• The average turnout over the last 4 Assembly elections was 54%, with the maximum turnout of 63% in 2006 and the lowest turnout of 41% in 2001.
• The past four elections have all been two horse races, with the winner and the runner-up together accounting for 90% of the votes polled.
• If the same trend continues in 2011, a candidate would need to get about 51,000-55,000 votes to win the Mylapore seat.
I assume Satya has not mailed the info for mere armchair debate.
If you read between the lines, there are a few messages for us all. Your vote will make some difference. Be in in Mylapore, Velachery or Virugambakkam.
Before we cast that ballot, if we can engage with the candidates now we may not be 'cheated' the way the elected MP did!

1 comment:

Navaneethan Santhanam said...

Hi Vincent,

My parents live in Kotturpuram, near AMM School. Which constituency do we fall under? It's either Saidapet or Mylapore, but I'm not sure which.