February 28, 2007Foreign Affairs

Explaining the Congress party’s electoral defeat

Media punditry ignores the simplest explanation

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

The people of Punjab and Uttarakhand states voted out the Congress party. That is the objective fact. It is amusing to see the media provide definitive explanations for this.

When the Congress party loses, there is always the anti-incumbency factor’ to blame. Voters, it says, didn’t vote out the Congress party per se or because of what it did while in government. They simply voted out the incumbent.

The anti-incumbency factor reared its head again to sweep Congress governments out of power in Punjab and Uttarakhand on Tuesday [DNA]

This time, there was another convenient factor

Rising prices of rice and wheat prompted Indian voters to oust Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s ruling Congress party in two state elections yesterday. [Bloomberg India]

How these conclusions could be made with so much certainty is anyone’s guess. What is most amazing is that few reports even consider the possibility that voters, apart from being merely cynical or inflation-sensitive, could have voted against the Congress party because they disliked its policies and performance.

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