Is negative campaigning here to stay? Indian voters have never witnessed so much mudslinging in Indian electoral history.
Is this going to be the most bitterly fought election ever?
Negative campigning is a tactic adopted by political parties. It involves playing dirty tricks, mudslinging or pointing out negative characteristics of opponents. It is a sign of desperation. Or a sign that stakes are very high.
Flawed democracy is the latest characteristic attributed to India by ‘The Economist’.
Critics attribute this to the fact that the PM is nominated by the last government. However, the Indian constitution gives the party staking a claim to form the government, the right to nominate any person the PM, elected or otherwise. The PM can contest and win a seat post election, to become an MP.
Negative campaigning is used by parties to turn off voters who are undecided. They use tactics to push their loyalists to vote for them. Therefore, a lot of voters who decide on the basis of campaigning or performance and are likey to change their votes, usually get put off by the mudslinging and stay away from the elections. Only those who strongly believe in the party will then participate in the hate speeches, the sloganeering, and continue to turn up for voting. You have to be brash to vote. Intellectuals not welcome. That is what a negative campaign results in.
Inspite of the shadow of the gun, Indian voters gave an average of 50% voting in the first phase.