Does the Indian Electorate Benchmark Parliamentary Performance?
Kern, Andreas Dr.
The Indian electorate elects the Members of Parliament (MP) to represent them in the biggest forum of Indian democracy – the Parliament. The MPs represent the people's hopes and aspirations and play a key role in furthering the voters' social and economic welfare. However, does the electorate consider their representative's performance when casting their ballot? I hypothesize that parliamentary performance does not play any role in an MP's chance of re-election. Using data on the 2019 general election results, I show that parliamentary performance in the 16th Lok Sabha (2014-19) - measured by the number of questions, the private member legislations, attendance, gender, age, the term of office, debates participated did not enhance the likelihood of a representative parliamentarian to get re-elected. From a policy perspective, my findings underscore the importance of decline in the spirit of parliamentary democracy. This also hints at the significance of other mechanisms such as social biases, cash-based vote-buying, and campaign financing, which might play a far more important role in determining a policymaker's destiny in Indian politics.
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