How people vote in a liberal, open, competitive democracy is a big question in two senses. First, as Indian voters make up one-sixth of the world’s total electorate, their voting behavior considerably matters to the future of representative democracy everywhere. Second, as India faces so many challenges to its social, ideological and political cohesion, what people think about voting is significant to how India will evolve in the future.
Political participation is central to the democratic system and civic literacy plays an instrumental role in it. This volume examines the impact of civic literacy on political participation, by studying voting behaviour in local, assembly and parliament elections in rural, semi-urban and urban areas of Gujarat. The conclusions are drawn from what people said and what was observed on the ground, combining booth-wise analysis of votes polled with indices of civic awareness and political participation.
The main questions addressed are: (i) what is the level of civic literacy and political participation of the citizens? (Ii) How to measure civic literacy and political participation? (iii) What are the variables influencing civic literacy and political participation? (iv) How are civic literacy and political participation linked? (v) To what extent individuals vote as individuals, transcending caste and creed? (vi) To what extent has Indian democracy matured in terms of electoral behaviour.
This book will interest students and teachers in social sciences, and all those engaged in citizenship education towards perfecting procedural and substantive democracy in India.
Contents: 1. Introduction. 2. Electoral Campaigning. 3. Administration of Polling Process and its Assessment. 4. Religion- and Social Class-wise Voting Patterns at Booth-Level. 5. Civic Literacy and Political Participation. 6. How People Vote?.