#LokSabha2019: What is the ethical act of Voting?

However, the question arises how will the politician know that the person will vote for him even after taking the money? Especially when more than one politician pays the similar group of people. But, interestingly voters feel morally bound to vote in exchange of money.

#LokSabha2019: What is the ethical act of Voting? #LokSabha2019: What is the ethical act of Voting Source : Press

There is a strange trait about humans, we often judge others in the way we will never judge ourselves. Whenever we meet someone or we go to any organisation, there is always a person who complains about another colleague that they are not working well. We easily judge others on what we think is correct. It is now a general human tendency to think others are wrong if their opinions or beliefs differ from your thoughts. Elections in India epitomize the same nature.

As the country is heading towards 17th Lok Sabha Elections, we occasionally hear these prevailing sentiments about other people. The more privileged section of the society is under the assumption that poor people vote only to seek benefits in the form of cash, materialistic things like refrigerator, clothes, consumer goods, and other things. The major group of people will say minorities vote as an alliance as they are bribed to vote a certain party. These are a few examples where people don't vote to choose the best political representatives who will rule.

 A certain group of people will think in a similar way about those people who are casting their vote for another party. It is seen as if people who are choosing to vote for a specific party if basically a vote for money. But, how is it different from people who are blindly following one party on the basis of ideology. They are pretty much doing the same thing.

Well, the question arises what is the correct way of voting? We often hear voting is a moral duty, but who decides the ethics to vote? Is it just to showcase your pride by showing off a finger with indelible ink? Is it to register your name in the voter's sheet or more importantly a process of deciding and choosing the right?


Politicians go door to door and bribe people with cash and other goods. This act is done publically and sometimes their performance is hilarious too with people being offered alcohol and snacks. This is one way of bribing people which is more open the other way is more secretive. This money for votes practice is so against the democratic election system. But why does this exists?

It is a basic human nature to see everything as a transaction when we work for someone we expect to get paid in return. Well, voting is not merely a job where voters presume election as an act of transaction. If I vote for you, what will I get in return? This is completely against the very essence of democratic voting. What people need to understand is there is no scope of compensation here. So, the question arises are voting to benefit ourselves or others? Does the person vote to improve the well-being of the elected person or the larger society?

In that case, we are completely helping the other person, the elected politician derives huge benefit after becoming a member of the legislature. They get a lot of power, money after being elected. Well, this seems to be the ultimate dilemma in choosing somebody. We, the people of India vote for free, whereas the final result of our act ends up making the other person wealthy. So, why is casting a vote not seen as a business transaction as voter's action is benefiting the elected politician? What if the voter starts asking for his share in that wealth? If we do so, it will be called as rational behavior.


Well, it seems people who are contesting this election understand this logic. Hence, they see this as a mere investment. Their calculation is basically if they pay money to voters and get elected, they will be able to make a crore next year. So, to make this happen again politicians see their spendings as an investment. The money splurged by politicians is directly proportional to the money they will make in their tenure.


Similar to this, when the person votes on the basis of ideology, we in a way are following the same logic. For whom a small amount of money does not matter ask for different favours like protection of their religion, their caste, their interests. So, when rich people vote for a politician who favours their needs, they are doing the exact same thing which a poor person is doing, since exercising the right to vote is used as nothing but a transaction to get what they desire.


However, the question arises how will the politician know that the person will vote for him even after taking the money? Especially when more than one politician pays the similar group of people. But, interestingly voters feel morally bound to vote in exchange of money.


The root cause of the problem is looking at the elections as transaction. But, the citizens of India need to understand that voting is just not a constitutional act but also a moral and ethical duty. It is not just the act of benefiting one individual, or one ideology, but an act of benefitting a large society.


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