Pre-election fears

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On Monday, February 18th, 2008 the people of Pakistan will decide who they want to lead their country into the future–or so they say!  Election fever is everywhere…I think. 

It was a beautiful Saturday morning with clear blue skies.  We set out to conduct a land survey and ended up passing several towns in the process.  As we passed each town, the roadside stalls were plastered with ‘party flags and banners’ and HUGE pictures of guys seekig votes (mostly with handle-bar moustaches, because we were in rural Pak!).  This is the part where I would stick in a picture, if I had the foresight of John or Catherine 😦

Strangely, with only two days to go, I only saw 2-3 rallies taking place during our six hours of driving around.  This made me start thinking…and asking questions to the people I was meeting today.  The conclusions of my very un-scientific survey are as follows (drum roll, please):

 I classify people into two broad groups: 1) ‘educated’ urban dwellers and 2) ‘not-so-educated’ rural dwellers (there is a 3rd group–diehard party supporters, but they are insignificant in number according to my survey)

When asked, ‘So who are you going to vote for?’

Group 1: ‘Vote?! I am boycotting the elections…there is no one to vote for, they are ALL criminals looking to loot the nation–and besides the entire process is rigged’

Group 2: ‘I am voting for Party X’

Me: ‘Why?’

Group 2: ‘Because my family/caste has always voted for Party X, and my cousin/uncle/nephew is running in the local elections under Party X. Our caste generally competes against the other castes on a very local level–it is an issue of our pride’

Me: ‘But arent all of the national parties led by crooks’ (my ‘unbiased’ survey skills surface!) 

Group 2: ‘What do I care what happens on a national level, it is completley irrelevant to me’

My conclusions: Voter turnout will probably be lower than usual because people are quite frustrated by the entire situation within the country and have lost hope. 

I know, I know…you guys probably want me to do a workshop on ‘surveying’ at Skolls, but I don’t think we will have time.

Anyhow, do pray for the best, as people are quite concerned considering what has been happening here and what happened in Kenya.

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One Response to “Pre-election fears”

  1. John Tucker Says:

    How would you go about creating connections for uneducated voters between what happens at a national level and the impact on them locally?
    P.S. Mustachioed statues seem quite popular in rural India.

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