Vote selling?! Selling my vote for a cause

Vote buying is illegal. But vote selling is not!

AMPANG, Sept 24 — In an unprecedented act of desperation, house buyers of Hulu Kelang’s stalled Ukay Bistari project are guaranteeing 4,000 votes to any coalition which can resolve their situation before the next general election.

In political theory, this is called, “single issue voters“. This means that voters, regardless of all the other issues that matter, are only concerned with one. Whomever is able to deliver on that issue, will receive their vote.

4,000 voters — you can bet this group is made up of a diverse demographic slice. There will be Muslims, non-Muslims, Malays, Indians, Chinese, rich, no-so-rich, well-read, illiterate, old, young, men, women. Corruption, cronyism, judicial reform, BM vs English, the economy, ETP, NEM, NEP, racial politics — all don’t mean anything to them; nothing else matters except their homes. 

It’s a strange quirk of democracy, but its valid and, like it or not, sometimes unavoidable.

While i don’t have the research numbers to back it up, i would not be surprised to discover that racially-biased policies in Malaysia are also a single-issue vote. People who are happy to be part of the majority Malay group, to enjoy all the benefits that entails, may not feel that other issues such are worth disrupting the gravy train they’re on. I would also not be surprised to find a healthy chunk of non-Malays belonging to this group too; those that have in some way made themselves comfortable under the umbrella of the NEP. 

A single-issue voter can be a politician’s worst nightmare. It can be especially tough on the challengers because its generally true that the incumbent has greater resources available to satisfy their needs. 

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One thought on “Vote selling?! Selling my vote for a cause

  1. The difficulty of single issue voters to most politicians is that you can’t be sure that the votes will swing the way you want it to. That’s because once their agenda is heard and satisfied the voters are not compelled to vote for the particular party that acquiesced to the single voters agenda. Similarly for party’s that buy votes there is no guarantee that once the person takes the money he or she will then vote for the party giving the money.
    People would still hold on to certain core principles that they hold dearly to themselves. Despite the 4000 disgruntled voters who promises that they will give their votes to which ever party settles their issue. Would the Malays from this single issue voters agree to have their privileges removed if the party that helps them puts it as part of their agenda?
    All votes are supposed to be P & C so its not like the votes can be checked against who got paid off. I know a number of people who took money then went into the booth and voted the other way just take the paying party for a ride and get a free trip home to the kampung with coffee money to spare.
    Similarly once the people have their issues resolved they will then fall back on the core ideals they previously held on to. There is nothing that compels these voters to uphold their end of the bargain. For them their issue was resolved.
    So it’s not quite black and white where single issue votes will go.
    I have to go agree with you that a lot of biased policies in Malaysia are single issue votes due to the fact that a basket of privileges will be revoked.
    Personally as a Malay I’m not complaining and yes I am very happy to be on the gravy train. The fact is any party that revokes the Malay privileges will literally commit political suicide. So we come into an empasse where people gripe about the the inequalities and nothing can be done about it short of a riot and a coup d’etat by the non Malays.


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