Cuban American Politics - US Vote Banks

By pjain      Published May 31, 2021, 9:20 p.m. in blog Geo-Politics   

--- xfr --- TOC Electoral Politics and Suppression in USA

Registration Campaigns make Huge difference

Black Voters Matter Fund targeted more than 15 states, sending a fleet of buses on road trips across the nation. In Georgia alone, they reached more than 500,000 voters and sent nearly 2 million text messages.

The effort was helped in that state by implementation of statewide automatic registration when voters obtain or renew state IDs. Black voter registrations increased by 40% in both Fulton and Gwinnett counties, according to the Georgia secretary of state. The increase in the growing counties outpaced the 6% increase in the Black population over the same time period.

New Rules to fight Vote Suppression

In the 2020 election, new rules making it easier to vote during the pandemic.

After many Black voters experienced long lines during primary elections in Georgia and Wisconsin, many were motivated to take advantage of mail-in and early voting options, helping Biden’s campaign bank those votes early.

Fair Fight, the voting rights group founded by Stacey Abrams, launched widespread voter education efforts and pushed back aggressively against GOP-led efforts to limit mail voting. Abrams, a former candidate for Georgia governor, said she saw the election as a critical moment to try to “mitigate harm” done under the Trump administration. While Abrams lost her election, this experience fighting entrenched Georgia vote suppression system, helped her get Biden Georgia - a critical last minute win for Biden.

1% or less determines winner and loser

While it is true that black voter turnout decreased from 2012 to 2016, it does not mean that black people are to blame for the Democratic loss of the 2016 election. Twelve percent of whites who voted for Obama in 2012 voted for Trump in 2016.

Consider that Hillary Clinton lost by less than 11,000 votes in Michigan and 44,000 votes in Pennsylvania.

Consider these voting suppression, easier access for poor hispanics and blacks, even small changes made a difference too.

Turnout Matters!

Voter turnout in the 2020 election was exceptionally high, with 66.8% of eligible voters casting ballots. However the spike was for both demo/gop voters. Last time it was comparable was in 1992 when Clinton won against Bush Sr!

Turnout showed distinct increases from 2016 among Asian American, Latino or Hispanic, and non-college white voters. Each displayed 2016-to-2020 turnout increases that exceeded 6 points or greater.

Vote Repression Issues are Real in USA

It is allegedly also hampered by voter repression in Red states by making mail in ballots and just getting to polls hard for poorer populations.

Nearly 900 polling places were closed from 2012 to 2016, including over 400 in Texas and nearly 40 in the Carolinas.

After 2020 defeat of Trump, angry Republican-controlled state legislatures have enacted measures that would have the effect of restricting voting in future elections among groups that often vote Democratic.

Current barriers to voting are real, pervasive and covert. In 2013, the decision in the Shelby county v Holder case afforded people who want to disenfranchise black people the license to do so.

Pervasive gerrymandering in both Blue and Red states

Incriminating documents were found on the hard drive of a Republican operative known as the “gerrymandering king” who deliberately drew new political maps to dilute the black vote in North Carolina.

TOC Votebanks Globally

Votebanks

Vote banks is a term referring to a loyal bloc of voters from a single community, who consistently back a certain candidate or political formation in democratic elections. Such behavior is often the result of an expectation of benefits, whether real or imagined, from the political formations, often at the cost of other communities.

Votebank politics is the practice of creating and maintaining votebanks through divisive policies.

Votebanks are generally considered undesirable in electoral politics as it encourages voting on the basis of self-interest of certain groups, often against their better judgement, it is considered harmful to the principles of representative democracy.

Vote banks in USA

  • By Age Recent turnouts lows, highs
  • AGE 18-29 45%-54% - usually low, but jumped anti-Trump millenials
  • AGE 30-44 59%-64% - Fluctuates a lot - older millenials
  • AGE 45-64 67%-71% - VERY Steady and high
  • AGE 65% 71%-75% - VERY Steady and highest of all groups

  • By Race Recent turnouts lows, highs

  • White 64-71% (college grads vote high 80%, non-college low 58%)
  • Black 60-67% (higher in obama-1/2, biden was only 63%)
  • Latino 48-54% - however can overwhelm local little Havanas/little mexico eg in Miami Dade
  • Asian 45-59% - fluctuates a lot - confused on wealth like GOP, but ethnic for Demos
Election Black %voters/turnout Black demoVotes
Biden 2020 11% 90%+, 93% in city inners where 75% black
Trump 2016 ? Hillary got majority
Obama 2012 ? 95%
Obama 2008 ? 99%
Kerry 2004 ? 93%
Gore 2000 ? 95%

Core White Voters - Usually College Educated, Suburban

Non-College Whites - Angry Rural Rednecks - support Trump

In Nov 2020 elections there was a noticeable increase in voting among white adults who did not graduate from college (the so-called “non-college white” group). They are mostly assumed to have supported Trump.

The non-college white rise in turnout is especially significant, as this group is linked to voting Republican in presidential elections, including in 2020. This group’s 2020 turnout rate of 64% was its highest since at least 2000, and served to close the gap between their turnout and the traditionally higher turnout of their less Republican-leaning college graduate counterparts (which rose by just 3 points, from 79% to 82%). This rise occurred among both non-college white men and women. The non-college white turnout spike helped to increase the overall white turnout in 2020 (from 65% to 71%), elevating the overall white turnout level, which continues to exceed other race and ethnic groups. Yet increased turnout was also evident for Asian American voters (a 10-point increase) and Latino and Hispanic voters (a 6-point increase).

Gender-wise voting - not clearly demarcated

Asian Americans

Latino or Hispanics

Latinos in USA

Demographics

Among the 60m Hispanics in 2017 in the U.S. or 18% up a lot from the 15m since 6.5% in 1980.

They densely aggregate in CA (26% of population), Texas (19% of population) and Florida (9%).

Of these about 33% are foreign born, compared with 56% of U.S. Cubans. About 16% of U.S. Hispanics ages 25 and older have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 27% of Cubans.

Among U.S. Hispanics, the median annual personal earnings for those ages 16 and older was $25,000, compared with $28,000 for Cubans. But Cubans are likely to be full time year around workers and have job-sponsored health insurance as well.

The rate of homeownership among U.S. Hispanics (47%) is lower than the rate for Cubans overall (51%). Among Cubans in the U.S., rates of homeownership are higher for the U.S. born than foreign born (55% vs. 50%).

Hispanics have a high fertility rate with 7% of U.S. Hispanic women ages 15 to 44 gave birth in the 12 months prior (lower rate for Cuban women was 5%).

The vast majority of Latinos are U.S. citizens. About 79% of Latinos living in the country are U.S. citizens, up from 74% in 2010. This includes people born in the U.S. and its territories (including Puerto Rico), people born abroad to American parents and immigrants who have become naturalized citizens. Among the origin groups, virtually all Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. Spaniards (91%), Panamanians (89%) and Mexicans (79%) have some of the highest citizenship rates, while Hondurans (53%) and Venezuelans (51%) have the lowest rates.

Political Impact of Latinos

Mexican Americans have a very small representation in Congress compared to their 11% population.

  1. 2021 Senate includes three Mexican Americans — Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and Alex Padilla, (D-Calif.). — as the Mexican American population overall nears 37 million people.
  1. Today, the majority of Mexican Americans reside either in deep-blue California or in reliably red Texas. So on one hand, their vote (if Democratic) cannot change the tide in blue states, or overwhelm Texas.

  2. Clearly, the Democratic Party also hasn't invested in training Mexican American candidates or developing a pipeline for elected office. Even billionaire sponsors, like the Koch-funded Libre Initiative trains Latinos to be activists on tax and immigration issues but doesn't train candidates to run for office. So they help capitalist policies but not political power.

  3. Latinos are often very annoying. Take AOC for example (a favorite target of GOP right wingers) or Ted Cruz. However despite their sleaziness, Cubans have survived. However, several once-promising Mexican American political stars, like former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former California lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante and former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros, flamed out amid scandal, clearing the bench of potential national figures

  4. Nearly one-third of Mexican Americans are under 18 and can't vote yet, even though a wave of high likely to vote could come as they age forward. To some extent the GOP and Trump severely opposed DACA to prevent such a surge.

  5. Most Mexican-American elected officials come from poor, majority Mexican-American districts because of racial segregation and gerrymandering.

  6. Fragmentation of Latinos Simmering. Preferential treatment and actions of Cuban Americans angered moderate-Democratic-leaning Mexican Americans and led to political tensions between the two groups that linger today.

  7. Why Mexican Americans continue to lack political influence - Axios

Cuban political success reasons?

Cuban-Americans carry hefty political clout in the United States—they vote more frequently than any other Latinos; they have a strong presence in Washington with three senators, two of whom were serious contenders for the presidency; and only one non-Cuban has been Miami’s mayor since 1985.

Within the United States, the Cuban population is very highly concentrated, with 77 percent living in Florida during the period 2014-18. The next three top states of residency were Texas and New Jersey (each containing 4 percent of the population) and California (3 percent).

  1. However Florida is a right leaning state where the GOP counts on Cubans to turn the tide. So the political core of Cuban Americans live in swing-state Florida, making them more attractive to presidential candidates who often visit and play to the anti-communist passions of Cubans and Venezuelans. The two groups helped deliver Florida and its 29 electoral votes for President Trump in the 2020 election. However, Cuban Americans, who number just 2 million, are also represented by three Cuban American senators: Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). Possibly the GOP has been rewarding Cubans with more senatorial seats as spearheading their Latino vote dividers in NJ.

  2. The top four counties by concentration were all in Florida:

MSA % Population
Miami-Dade,FL 13%
Naples FL 5%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers,FL 3%
Tampa-St Petersburg,FL 2.2%
Orlando-Kissimmee FL 1.1%

Broward, Hillsborough, and Palm Beach. Together, these counties were home to about 67 percent of all Cuban immigrants in the United States.

Timeline of Latino in Elections

1960 Kennedy success with Latinos

  1. President John F. Kennedy galvanized Mexican-American voters during his 1960 presidential run through "Viva Kennedy!" clubs, in the first massive effort by a presidential candidate to reach out to Latino voters. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus credits that 1960 outreach as the impetus that got Mexican Americans involved in politics. Since then, more Hispanics, mostly Mexican-American Democrats, have been elected to Congress than in the previous 140 years, according to the Caucus.

1960s Cubans rapid concentration in FL, but Preferential Immigration and Rapid naturalization

By contrast, large numbers of Cubans, many from elite, mostly white wealthy families, started arriving in the 1960s after Fidel Castro overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista who was deeply embedded with rich white capitalists.

Unlike Mexican Americans,Haitians and other Latinos, Cold War Cuban refugees were given clear and quick paths to U.S. citizenship, including voting privileges

Anti-communist Cuban Americans joined the Republican Party following the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, and formed coalitions with some Republicans and conservative Democrats against civil rights and anti-poverty initiatives.

2001 Bush swung Latinos to GOP

A generation later, Texas Republican Gov. George W. Bush courted Mexican Americans during his gubernatorial and presidential races, and drew record numbers of Republican votes from Latinos.

Mexican-origin Americans 1st - 37m

Mexicans, the nation’s largest Hispanic origin group, constituted 36.6 million, or 62%, of the Hispanic population in 2017.

Since 2000, the Mexican-origin population has increased 76%, growing from 20.9 million to 36.6 million over the period.

About 16% of U.S. Hispanics ages 25 and older have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 12% of Mexicans.

Among U.S. Hispanics and Mexicans, the median annual personal earnings for those ages 16 and older was $25,000. Looking at full-time, year-round workers, U.S. Hispanics earned $34,000, while Mexicans earned $32,000.

Foreign Born key portion

At the same time, the Mexican foreign-born population living in the U.S. grew by 29%, from 8.7 million in 2000 to 11.2 million in 2017.

USA Born get better education - college, income and citizenship

Among Mexicans ages 25 and older, the U.S. born are more likely than the foreign born to have a bachelor’s degree or higher (17% vs. 7%).

Puerto Ricans 2nd 6m

Salvadorans 3rd 2.4m

Salvadorans are the third-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 4% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2017.

Cubans - 4th 2.3m

Cubans are the fourth-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 4% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2017.

Since 2000, the Cuban-origin population has increased 84%, growing from 1.2 million to 2.3 million over the period to end 2019.

Of this the Cuban foreign-born population is highest portion of Latinos at 56% living in the U.S. grew by 50%, from 853,000 in 2000 to 1.3 million in 2017. About 43% of foreign-born Cubans have been in the U.S. for over 20 years, and 58% of foreign-born Cubans are U.S. citizens.

Preferential Immigration and demographics

The overwhelming majority of Cubans who have immigrated into the United States have settled in Florida, whose political, economic, and cultural life they have transformed.

a. Continued migration by sea to the United States led to the 1995 establishment of the wet-foot, dry-foot policy, which allowed any Cuban arriving by land or sea to remain in the United States legally.

b. Their comparatively high rate of citizenship may be explained by the Cuban Adjustment Act, which puts Cubans on a much faster path to citizenship.

  1. 1959 Castro Revolution pushed elite, rich, capitalist Cuban refugees.

  2. 1960’s refugees brought Cuban customs to Florida as well as virulently anticommunist beliefs. The Cuban population in the United States grew almost six-fold within a decade, from 79,000 in 1960 to 439,000 in 1970.

  3. 1980’s 608k. The single 1980 Mariel boatlift brought nearly 125,000 Cubans to Florida. A sheer volume of the last wave of Cubans exacerbated already tense racial relations with African American communities, especially in Miami, who felt politically and economically marginalized.

  4. 1990s Preferential Immigration Policy. Continued migration by sea to the United States led to the 1995 establishment of the wet-foot, dry-foot policy, which allowed any Cuban arriving by land or sea to remain in the United States legally.

  5. 2008 1.24 million Cuban Americans were living in the United States, mostly in South Florida. Politically this was very important in Miami-Dade county was about one-third Cuban.

  6. 2018 1.35m. Despite a 2016 surge in Cuban arrivals, which came in anticipation of the end to preferential treatment, the rate of growth of the U.S. Cuban population has slowed overall in the last decade.

Nature of Cubans in USA

  1. Cubans are not super rich nor educated. Compared to the overall foreign- and U.S.-born populations, Cuban immigrants are less likely to be proficient in English, have lower educational attainment, and earn lower household incomes.

  2. Cuban immigrants are much less likely to be proficient in English and speak English at home than the overall foreign-born population. In FY 2018, about 61 percent of Cubans ages 5 and over reported limited English proficiency, compared to 47 percent of the total foreign-born population. Approximately 7 percent of Cubans in the United States spoke only English at home, compared to 17 percent of all immigrants.

  3. Cuban immigrants overall have significantly lower incomes than both the overall immigrant and native-born populations. Households headed by a Cuban immigrant had a median income of $46,000 in 2018, while all immigrant households had a median income of $60,000 and native households had a median income of $62,000. In 2018, Cuban families were living in poverty at the same rate as immigrant families overall, at 13 percent, compared to 8 percent of families with a U.S.-born head of household.

  4. Seek Citizenship by Naturalization Rapidly. Cubans were more likely than the overall immigrant population to be naturalized U.S. citizens. In FY 2018, 59 percent of the approximately 1.3 million Cuban immigrants in the United States were naturalized citizens, compared to 51 percent of the total foreign-born population. This comparatively high rate of citizenship may be explained by the Cuban Adjustment Act, which puts Cubans on a much faster path to citizenship.

  5. The rate of homeownership among U.S. Hispanics (47%) is lower than the rate for Cubans overall (51%). Among Cubans in the U.S., rates of homeownership are higher for the U.S. born than foreign born (55% vs. 50%).

  6. Facts on Latinos of Cuban origin in the U.S. | Pew Research Center

  7. Article: Cuban Immigrants in the United States | migrationpolicy.org

Political Views and Factors

  1. Many of these Cubans have viewed themselves as political exiles.

  2. Follow the Elite Dogma. The preferential treatment of immigration of the elite, rich, capitalist Cuban refugees have given them entitlement attitude. So even after wards the tripling of population,still is dominated by the elite viewpoints. They really see their power in staying as an unified vote bank.

  3. The Cuban Americans hate Castro regime, and hate any socialist overtures to it or now Venezuela.

Dominicans - 5th 2.1m

Guatemalans - 6th 1.4m

Colombians - 7th 1.25m

Hondurans - 8th 1m

Spaniards - 9th 0.8m

Other Hispanics

  • Ecuadorians 738,000
  • Peruvians 679,000
  • Nicaraguans 464,000
  • Venezuelans 421,000
  • Argentines 278,000
  • Panamanians 210,000

Black Voters 11% of Voters

What Matters

However the myth is that Democrats are plagued with problem of its loyalists not voting.

Though they are only 13% of the US population, black voters are among the most stable voting bloc in politics, despite the concerted efforts to stop them.

While it is true that black voter turnout decreased from 2012 to 2016, it does not mean that black people are to blame for the Democratic loss of the 2016 election. Twelve percent of whites who voted for Obama in 2012 voted for Trump in 2016.

Black voters have long pulled their weight relative to other racial groups.

The black community has voted in vote bank fashion for the Democratic candidate.

But it is true that a main problem is to get them to turnout.

While 2020’s Black turnout—at 63%—still exceeded that of Latino or Hispanic or Asian American voters, it remains below the rate of the two elections won by Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

Fragmentation of Black Voters

Black voters are not a monolith. Gender, education and incarceration are factors in determining voter turnout and political party preference.

  1. Gender Generally, women vote at higher rates than men across race, and this is true of black women too.

  2. Education Matters - Black men got somewhat Trumped. While most black women with or without college degrees voted for Hillary Clinton, only 78% of black men with a college degree (16% voted for Trump) and 82% without a college degree voted Democrat (11% voted for Trump).

Real Political Issues for Blacks in USA

In the past the Democratic party (including 8 years of Black president Obama) have not made a dent. This time around blacks voting for a white president Biden claim to hold Democrats accountable for past promises.

  1. Investment in Black populated areas (eg urban inners)

  2. Tackling systemic racism

  3. Policing reforms

  4. improved health care for poor

  5. Better jobs, minimum wage. Black poverty — already running at rate of 18.8% has been far worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

--- TOC

Key Indian Political Forces

100+ Years Class/Community/Caste Interest Based Politics

Labor/pro-worker unions and often Leftist alighed

Farmer

Landed class political parties

Regional and Tribal and OBC Parties - Emerged Later as Congress seen not representative

All-India Monopoly in 1967 - very few National Personalities or Parties

Congress lost first elections ever after Famines and mismanagement

1967 elections challenged the all-India supremacy of the Congress and the other that tried to break free from the centralised structure of the state. That year is considered to be a watershed in Indian politics.

The Congress party for the first time it lost its majority not in one but in nine states of the country.

Regional Parties dominating via Coalition Politics since 1967

From 1967 onwards there has been a tug-of-war going on in Indian politics. Would political parties with overarching all-India characteristics govern the country or would regional satraps forge linkages to run the affairs of the country? The trajectory that has been emerging of late reveals that all the parties ruling at the centre have had to accommodate parties and groups representing different regional constituencies through coalition arrangements.

Since 1967, parties have emerged left and right of the centre at the national level, and a flurry of political parties have come up at the regional and provincial level. The Shiv Sena in Maharastra, the Asam Gon Parishad in Assam, the Telugu Desam party in Andhra Pradesh mentioned earlier are some of them.

Now all political parties will continue to draw sustenance from diverse categories within the Indian electorate. There is no end in sight to the phenomena of vote bank politics in India. As new groups come forward to demand space in politics, the creation of new vote banks is an accelerating process. There is emerging consciousness among various marginalised groups to get united in the course of political mobilisation.

The result is the emergence of newer political parties to espouse the cause of the differentiated, and often marginalised, of India.

Now narrow and parochial agendas are gaining an upper hand even as the broad all-India vote banks lose ground. In the mushrooming of local-regional political parties some would see Indians discovering their political identity, with local and regional considerations gaining ground and it being harder to tie down voters as ‘monolith Indians’?

Ever since then through 2014 final defeat of UPA-2 by Modi's unstoppable rise, the regional parties have held veto power emasculating central politics.

India Votebanks - Niche/Provincial level tactics

Vote banks are important in the political discourse of India. Devil's Trick - vote banks are foundation of indian politics getting incumbents reelected time and again. While political parties may openly denounce the politics of cultivating vote banks but overtly or covertly they practice it in their own constituencies, for political survival and advancement.

Vote banks based on either caste or religion stand in the way of secularisation.

The fate of democracy is thus entwined with vote banks. However, in the process of new vote banks being created, also regionalism and parochial micro-tactical alignments are determining victors.

Anti-OBC and anti-Muslim Politics to the fore after 1980s Mandal OBC 27% reservation

Thus the Mandal Commission report which allowed 27 percent reservation for OBCs in government jobs in that year was another watershed event in Indian politics. As a result of the implementation of the Mandal report, intermediate castes like Yadavs and Kurmis came into the forefront in the Ganga plain.

Parties like the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Rashtriya Lok Dal in Uttar Pradesh, the Rashtriya Janta Dal and the Samata Party in Bihar and the Biju Janata Dal in Orissa are all post-Mandal offspring.

Timeline of Indian Political evolution

1930s-1940s community politics of divide-and-conquer

Even during the British days there existed the religious, the left, the pro-Raj, the pro-worker, the pro-farmer, and the pro-landed class political parties, among many others, which espoused the cause of these myriad groups thus creating their separate vote banks. The general elections in 1936 and 1946 brought to fore the choices of vote banks for different political parties in India.

Congress 1947-1967 Barbell Politics - Upper Caste Hindus (Brahmin) and Dalits/Muslims/OBCs

The Congress, which had a pivotal role in the freedom struggle, was the natural choice of many Indians for at least the first three general elections after Independence. The Congress vote bank comprised upper caste Hindus, Dalits and Muslims.

1967 Socialist Party of 1967 wins - Change in Politics after Famines

The Congress party had a smooth run till 1967, when for the first time it lost its majority not in one but in nine states of the country. That year is considered to be a watershed in Indian politics.

1977 Janata Party Coalition with BJP - National Alternative to Congress wins

The first non-Congress government was formed in 1977 - a coalition of several parties led by the Janata Party, an offshoot of popular socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia’s Socialist Party.

The hotchpotch coalition had sprung to challenge the supremacy of Indira Gandhi’s Congress. It even included the BJP that emerged out of the Jan Sangh (formed in 1967 to re-present Hindu aspirations).

1984-1989 VP Singh wins - Rise of BJP

BJP was standing mostly on its Own, anti-OBC and anti-Muslim Politics to the fore

With the rise of the BJP since 1984 as it began cultivating the majority Hindu vote bank by espousing the cause of the Hindus of the country. It attacked the Congress for pampering minorities and cultivated its own constituency on the anti-Muslim platform.

The National Front government led by VP Singh, came up in a big way in 1989 by widening the net of the vote bank to other caste categories.

1990s Reforms and Growth boosts Congress some - needs Coalition power

1996 Leftist dominated Coalition comes to Power in United Front to NDA

The United Front government led by Deve Gowda in 1996 was yet another attempt by left of centre forces to govern the country. The United Front government had regional and provincial coalition partners such as the TDP and DMK which played the major role in holding power at the centre in New Delhi.

1998 NDA BJP coalition as alternative

The formation of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 1998 led by the BJP reinforces the evolution in Indian politics where regional and local political parties are increasing their influence at the national level by forging alliances with national parties to form governments at the centre.

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India Votebanks

Vote banks are important in the political discourse of India. Devil's Trick - vote banks are foundation of indian politics getting incumbents reelected time and again. While political parties may openly denounce the politics of cultivating vote banks but overtly or covertly they practice it in their own constituencies, for political survival and advancement.

Vote banks based on either caste or religion stand in the way of secularisation.

Vote-banks sharpen caste-based divides

It was theorized that democratic elections would gradually diminish the divisions based on caste, creed and religion.

While Indian elections with hundreds of millions empowered the masses, the reality is reaching them has become impossible by print media or by jeep-loudspeaking or stage-based demagoguery. In reality vote banks deliver the votes.

So the democracy has sharpened the diversity by transforming them into vote banks and important ‘variables’ in the political process.

Religion based vote banks - become passe and not simple anymore

Others based on other community characteristics, such as religion and language, have also occurred.

Religion is the other broad category on which hinges the survival of several political parties. The leading party of the ruling National Democratic Alliance, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is primarily a Hindu party trying to market Hinduism in the cloak of nationalism. Even its secular face is Hindutva.

Sikhism foundation of Punjabi Politics

Akali Dal in Punjab espouse the cause of the Sikhs at the provincial level.

Congress leverages Muslim vote bank - "We will save you from BJP/RSS"

High Caste Hindutva Votebanks

Accusations of votebanking as a rhetorical tool used by Hindu nationalists in complaints about special rights or privileges granted to non-Hindus in India.

OBC - Strength in fragmented states

Political parties exploit the aspirations of caste groups which differ from one another, or are at least made to think that they differ in significant ways. In fact, many political parties have become syno-nymous with certain caste categories.

  1. The Bahujan Samaj party and the Samajwadi party in Uttar Pradesh represent ‘lower’ and intermediary castes

  2. Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) protest against both the Brahmin and anti-Brahmin middle classes in TN

  3. The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) in Tamil Nadu.

Reservations going to 50%

Role of Language in Regional Vote banks

Further fragmentation of states beyond basic 21 states

Language is another category in the diversity among the peoples of India.

Various political parties have cultivated linguistic constituencies. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu, as well as the Assam Gon Parishad in Assam, all flaunt their linguistic constituencies.

Majority Ethnic support

Provincialism also forms the basis of political divisions with political parties like the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena in Maharashtra

Jat, Yadav and Gujar Farmer in UP, Haryana

Community and Tribal vote banks

Tribalism and ethnicity.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)

In the tribal-dominated Jharkhand and some other political parties in the Northeast and the hills and tribal regions elsewhere have ethnic groups as their vote banks. DMK, AIADMK, Biju Janta Dal, Assam Gon Prashid, Haryana Vikas Party being province-based political parties. Then there are parties which have farmers as their constituency. Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal in Uttar Pradesh and Om Prakash Chautala’s Harayana Vikas Party fall in this category.

1989 Badaga Tribal Vote bank

In 1989, the Badaga people of South India petitioned the Indian government to be recognized as an official tribe, demonstrating en masse on 15 May of that year to imply the strength of the Badaga votebank.

Foreign Intervention - Chinese Influence

Maoists in WB and NE India

The left parties, CPI and CPI (M), are ideology-based political entities and have a committed ideological cadre as their constituency. West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura are the few states where these parties are strong.

Intellectuals in Indian universities

Kerala - Performance high levels of education, socialism, NRIs, Muslims a complex soup

The Muslim League in Kerala spouse the cause of the Muslims interests at the provincial level.


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