Friday, December 11, 2009
Costs of an Election
So in the run up to the upcoming election everyone is desperately trying to get in those votes. One tactic used by the 'incumbent' to win over support is to wine and dine people. Not a bad tactic I suppose, it's been done since the ages.
But really the whole thing really brings about the impression that while we have a Democracy, Sri Lanka still operates on an age old king system. It's like support me and I will answer your grievances. And that's all the voting is about... the grievances.
It doesn't seem like too many people are concerned about the state of the country or anything like that. Its simply, Candidate A promised me this. I will vote candidate A. End of story. In a similar way you might back a King. Let's also not forget party loyalties which are somewhat like loyalty to a line of Kings.
Anyway in the previous months people having been coming to Temple Trees... hordes of people but in the past it was pretty spaced out. But recently on consecutive days with with multiple batches of people. The crowd is always composed of different demographics, most probably profession and residence. They all go in and walk out with a lunch packet and a water bottle. More recently for the lawyers they were given also given a magazine entitled "Justice". But I'm just trying to gauge how costly an election is. Just look at the throngs of people and count the number of water bottles and lunch packs. Assume Rs.40 for a bottle and a minimum of Rs.100 a lunch pack and imagine the number of days.
The shot is of a single batch on that day. There were three batches all pretty large and also consider the past months. Politics is so expensive... imagine what other uses all that cash could have been used for.