Election Quality: Beyond the Numbers Game

Election Quality: Beyond the Numbers Game

Diverse group of Indian voters displaying their inked fingers after voting, symbolizing civic duty and participation in Election 2024.

Trying to get into the intricacies of Bharat’s (India’s) recent election cycle as we explore the impact of incivility, divisive rhetoric, and the need for substantive change. Let’s try to once beyond mere statistics to foster a more mature and engaged democracy.

India’s elections, particularly the Lok Sabha polls, are often reduced to a mere numbers game. Rally sizes, voter turnout, campaign events, vote shares, and seats won dominate the narrative. However, as Election 2024 draws to a close, it’s crucial to look beyond these statistics and assess the quality of our democratic exercise. This election cycle was rife with incivility and distractions, with candidates resorting to divisive and inflammatory rhetoric that undermines the vision of a developed India. The excuse of “we are like this only” no longer suffices.

The Election Commission may have chastised high-profile campaigners who crossed the line, yet much of the campaign rhetoric remained focused on mudslinging and incendiary speeches instead of addressing the real issues affecting citizens. This has left the world’s largest democracy looking somewhat immature. However, this need not be the case. Developed elections should aim to improve citizens’ daily lives, provide better jobs, enhance access to opportunities, and offer healthcare solutions. Instead, the campaign season was dominated by cheerleading and unsavory attacks, with voters seemingly accepting these tactics as the norm.

For true progress, politicians must learn to disagree without being disagreeable, offering critical, engaging, and constructive discourse. Voters, too, need to demand more from the political class, moving beyond merely sharing images of their inked fingers as evidence of civic participation. Ideally, once the tumult of electing the 18th Lok Sabha settles, both the supply and demand sides of governance will improve in quality, not just quantity.

Final Thoughts

As the dust settles on Election 2024, it is a moment for introspection. The world’s largest democracy must rise above the mire of quantitative obsessions and embrace a more nuanced, qualitative approach to governance. Only then can we truly claim to be moving towards the vision of a developed India, where elections are not just a numbers game but a genuine exercise in improving the lives of all citizens.


  • Election Commission of India. (2024). Reports and Statistics on Lok Sabha Elections. Retrieved from [ECI website](https://eci.gov.in/reports).
  • Smith, J. (2024). The Quality of Democracy in India: A Critical Analysis. *Journal of Political Studies*, 55(3), 123-145.

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