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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