Anti-incumbency or Non-performance?

The Acorn remarks (in the context of Narendra Modi’s electoral victory, no doubt) that voters have nothing against an incumbent government that is competent. He says, there is no such thing as anti-incumbency, only anti-incompetency. It is certainly a plausible explanation. But then, how do you explain the continuation of the communists in West Bengal, election after election? They are supremely incompetent and yet keep getting voted back.

I believe the answer is that it is not whether a government fails to deliver that matters — what matters is perception. Perhaps in West Bengal, they don’t even realize that the communists are failing miserably and should be shown the door. Perceptions and expectations matter. Chandrababu Naidu was thrown out by Andhra voters. In some objective sense he was very competent and was succeeding in improving that state. The voters did not perceive that. Their judgment was that he had failed them.

My conclusion: Bongs are trusting and stupid (hey, I am one, ok?) and Gults are impatient and stupid. 🙂

Author: Atanu Dey

Economist.

One thought on “Anti-incumbency or Non-performance?”

  1. Chandra babu was slightly more competent (not a whole lot) when comparing politicians .
    He engaged in agricultural price fixing scams when he could. The man had some policy principles but would ditch them in hopes of getting votes.
    Mody is a bit different and is a bit of a one trick pony. so just as incompetent as the rest of them.
    A week ago I was with 2 Gujratis fellas who were pro mody. When I prodded them further they revealed that they dont have any hopes of him having any particular vision or drive towards any goals but they liked his hindu 1st message and said were fed up with others….
    As an atheist, an anti-islamist(well for any atheist thats given), a vaguely cultural hindu, non voter in india, I was on the sidelines.
    I am not joyous or depressed about it as some.
    The result is not a strong color change on litmus paper.
    My prediction is that this wouldnt impact gujrat in either positive or negative way. Gujrat is not a poor place compared to the rest of india, and would keep running about the same.

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