Voter apathy or Consumer decision?

Its been a low voting turnout in Bangalore despite all the campaigns encouraging people to exercise their democratic right. The reason being quoted as usual is 'voter apathy'. The 'middle class' doesn't care, is what they say. I say, they're wrong. I'll tell you why.

Of course, I too wish more people voted. But the reason why the Bangalore middle class didn't, lies elsewhere. Lets consider the fundamentals first. For any 'act' to materialise there must be a motivating factor that propels that action. The action must in turn lead to fulfillment of a desired objective. Note the context within which this happens. The status-quo that a person finds himself in, is assessed as unacceptable. That is, the 'present state' is below what the person considers as a 'desired state'. The act, he believes will get him to his desired state. But note, even if one were motivated, that wouldn't automatically guarantee a playing out of the act. Because people have this habit of comparing various objectives that they want to meet, and pick those out of them that they believe is more urgent, the payoffs better, the perceived satisfaction greater. Remember, every act entails sacrifices being made. A sacrifice of time, money...

Voting too goes through such an assessment. People wonder what they could achieve if they vote. They then compare it with other acts they could engage in. They play the payoffs of one with the other. If the conclusion they draw is that the 'other' acts result in better payoffs with lesser investment, the former loses out. That is, if the answer is in the affirmative, in favour of these other acts, guess what they end up not doing?

You don't have to be a genius to figure that one out. The results are out there for all to see. Nothing could goad reluctant Bangaloreans to come out from their houses to vote - as India's tech hub Thursday recorded a low of 47 percent turnout. The truth is, Bangaloreans saw better payoffs elsewhere.

I know; that's a pity. Or, is it?


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