Why Voters Elect ‘Criminals’ (The Indian Express)


In an opinion piece published by The Indian Express, Assistant Professor of Government Simon Chauchard writes about political elections in India, posing the question: “Why do voters then select ‘criminals’ when they go to the polls?”

In part, writes Chauchard, the answer may lie in a widespread perception that criminal charges are political in nature. “As a consequence, even well-publicized criminal charges may not necessarily damage a candidate’s reputation,” he writes.

“More importantly, voters may not always perceive that they actually have alternatives. In a climate colored by general distrust of the political class, voters may doubt that a presumably virtuous candidate—one who has not incurred criminal charges—would in the long run turn out to be a more virtuous representative than a ‘criminal’ they are already familiar with.”

Read the full opinion piece, published 3/24/14 by The Indian Express.

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