Voters must differentiate between democracy and feigning it, and cast intelligently.
“Neck-to-neck”, “close”, or “dangerously to the wire”; name it what you like to, but the fact is that the election this year seems precarious to the point of uncertainty even in the last minute. Whatever the reasons, it all boils down to only a single decision: What is the ultimate fate of the candidates and the country? Core ambiguities about the chosen candidate and the competing candidates remain so until the actual result of the voting, and then translate to the administrative methods and idiosyncrasies later.
Representative democracy relies, to a very large extent, on voters’ choice(s). Closer the race, the better the chances of incentives for the elected candidate. Also, a closer election may signify a stronger democratic rule, if anything. But, this is based on the view that there are very little to nil chances that electoral competition is fake, despite growing evidence of tampering of viewpoints of voters and viewers. The candidate with the advantage of the existing leading party’s support, financial resources, and affiliations may be fruitful in the end. The competing party may resort to browbeat the opponent for internment of support. Several theoretical as well as practical phenomenon result in marginal electoral victories, sufficing to say that marginal victories may not be entirely random.
Inspite of known reasons for the candidates’ fortitude or otherwise, why are voters so uncertain, and why are preferences so close until now? It may be safe to assume that voters today view the economy as themselves, and the economy’s future as their future. Whoever transpires as their leader, their concern is administration, more than anything else. Yes, there are theories that infer voters as the ones who affect policy-making; there are some more that have deducted that voters are the largest participants when it comes to policy adoption. Full policy convergence is not exactly new.
Promises during campaigns, and the candidates’ electoral incentives may not matter to the voter. The real issue is subversion of promises after the outcome. A vote to a candidate is therefore based on these four among several points: candidacy, integrity to the system, relative genuinity, and probability of a relatively secure economic future. It is no surprise that these are variable attributes, and will predictably differ across demographics and socioeconomic statuses. When considering one candidate over the other, one’s own social strata may play the most primary and significant role.
Choosing the right candidate is a fairly difficult process when there is similar candidature, to start with. To predict an outcome for oneself and therefore the economy is another ballgame altogether.