Shri O.P. Rawat, inaugurates ADR’s 14th National Conference at IIM Bangalore.

The Chief Election Commissioner, Shri O.P. Rawat, today inaugurated the 14th annual national conference organized by ADR and the Karnataka Election Watch (KEW). During the conference, the CEC released the book on the Karnataka Voter Survey 2018 conducted by ADR and DAKSH. Besides the survey book, the CEC also released the Election Watch Books on Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017.

The survey report and the Election Watch Books of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017 can be accessed here: https://adrindia.org/sites/default/files/Karnataka_2018_Survey_Report.pdf

The survey is an attempt to understand, and bring to the forefront, the perceptions of voters regarding issues of importance in their constituency. Conducted just a few months ahead of the Karnataka assembly elections, the survey hopes that the political parties, candidates and citizens can reflect on the issues that are important in their constituency. If citizens’ issues dominate the discourse during elections, plans to tackle such issues will also develop.

This report outlines the findings of a survey of voters’ expectations, perceptions and their evaluation of the 25 most important issues for the voters in their particular region in terms of their capacity, governance and specific roles in improving the living conditions of the voters. These aspects are analyzed in relation to the performance of the government on those issues as perceived by the respondents.

The results of the Perception Assessment shows the striking difference between the priorities of the voters and the performance on those issues and highlights the overall weak efforts of all institutions in fulfilling their role in providing what the voters really need.

ADR believes that the assessment report can be an important tool in engendering improvements within all institutions in refining their own institutional practices or developing better oversight of other bodies. We hope the report will be instrumental in starting a coordinated effort to work together to ensure the most efficient use of resources to serve the nation as a whole.

The main highlights are:

  • Improving water supply and quality in Karnataka is by far the most important issue on Democratic voters’ minds, according to the survey conducted. It had a significant score of 8.06 out of a scale of 10 in rural areas and 8.02 out of 10 in urban areas.

  • Next most important issues in urban areas were Better Electricity Supply and Better Schools with 7.97 and 7.94 out of 10.

  • They were followed by Better Roads and Environment protection with 7.81 and 7.80 out of 10.

  •  In rural areas, the next most important issues were Better Schools and Better Roads with significance scores of 8.03 and 7.99 out of 10.

  • Better Electricity Supply and More Hospitals and Public Health Centres followed them with a score of 7.96 and 7.92 out of 10.

  • Anti-Terrorism in urban areas had the least significance with a score of 7.20.

  • In rural areas, Job Trainings with a score of 7.51 out of 10 had the least significance according to the survey respondents.

  • The respondents also rated the government for their performance on the issues which they considered very important. The top most issue, Better Water Supply and Quality scored 7.48 out of 10 in urban and 7.33 in rural areas.

  • The respondents ranked Better Schools, the highest among the 25 top issues in urban areas with a score of 7.85 out of 10.

  • The worst performances were on the issues of Public Facilities (6.79), Corruption Eradication (6.77) and Job Trainings (6.40) in urban areas.

  • In rural areas, the highest performance score was given to Better Schools with 7.58 out of 10.

  • The worst performance score was given to Better Employment Opportunities (6.70), Corruption Eradication (6.67) and Job Trainings (6.60) in rural areas.

This measure of voters’ perceptions highlight the need for awareness on the criminal, financial and other background of the candidates as well the transparency and accountability of the political parties. Only then, can a voter make an informed choice and contribute to electoral reform efforts.

The Election Watch books compiled by ADR, Gujarat Election Watch (GEW) and Himachal Pradesh Election Watch (HPEW) contain the criminal, financial, educational and other background information based on the self-sworn affidavits of the candidates contesting elections in their respective states. It also contains the election expenditure submitted by the newly elected MLAs to the Election Commission of India (ECI).

The first election watch was conducted by ADR in 2002 for Gujarat Assembly Elections whereby detailed analysis of the backgrounds of candidates contesting elections was provided to the electorate in order to help the electorate make an informed choice during polls. Since then ADR has conducted Election Watches for almost all state and parliament elections in collaboration with the National Election Watch. It conducts multiple projects aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in the political and electoral system of the country.

Thanks & Regards,

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