Voting behaviour in rural and urban areas of Punjab
Dr. Mughees Ahmed 1
The study of voting behavior of the rural and urban voters is the main objective of this paper. Ideological and biradari (clan, tribe) based considerations of voters are discussed in this case. Biradarism (casteism, tribalism) is the main component of this behavior. It has a very deep impact on political alignments of the people of Punjab. This factor gained more importance in the era of non-political governments. Non- party elections at the national and local level and weak political ideology further strengthened it. Elections of local bodies played their role to increase this trend also. The over all effects of these factors on the output of political process in the Punjab province have been analyzed. A historical, analytical and behavioral approach has been adopted. Another object of this paper is to analyze the power of cultural elements in politics for the reason that it takes one beyond the traditional range of political theory and practice in its past and present appearance. Such a study can provide a preliminary base to extend the boundaries of comparative politics and political behavior and some detail on the role of tradition in politics. This paper is divided into three parts. The first part is related to the meaning and role of biradari, the second is the division of the urban and rural areas and the last one is connected to political parties and religious groups playing a role in electoral behavior.
The people of Pakistan do not have a lot of experience in elections. The first general elections in Pakistan were held in 1970, twenty three years after independence. The election system has been changing since independence. Hence the political system of Pakistan is still in its experimental stage. Political systems and networks of relationships through which, government generates policies in response to demands or support from the general public.1 All political systems share certain characteristics and differ in functions. Political scientist David Easton in 1965, writes that all political systems function within the context of political culture, which consists of traditions, values, and common knowledge.2 Political behaviour is a central part of politics of any political system. Politics is an activity related to political system. It is not only a part of political life but social life too. Andrew Hay Wood examines politics as an activity. He writes that "Politics is the activity by which differing interests with a given unit of rule are conciliated by giving them a share in power, proportion to their importance to the welfare and the 1
Author is Associate Professor of Political Science at Govt. College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Journal of Political Studies
survival of the whole community”.3 On the other hand, the Indian scholar Johri observes politics as universal activity. He says that ''Politics is a continuous, timeless, ever-changing and universal activity having its key manifestation in the making of decisions to face and solve a 'predicament '4 Politics is a process of decision making and settling issues within a society. Thomas M. Magstadt and Peter M. Schotten explain politics as, "Politics is the process by which a community selects rulers and empowers them to make decisions, takes action to attain common goals, and reconciles conflicts within the community.5 A vote is the right to express one’s choice or opinion, especially by officially marking a paper or by raising one’s hand. Voting behaviour is a set of attitudes and beliefs towards election at the national as well as at the local level. The voting behaviour of Punjab is influenced by its local culture. Culture is a set of attitudes, beliefs and sentiments which give order and meaning to a political process and which provide the underlying assumptions and rules that govern behavior in a political system. It encompasses both...
References: Institutions, and Issues, Third Edition, (New York: St. Martin 's Press), 1993 p.16.
4. J.C .Johari , Comparative Politics, (New Delhi: Sterling Publishers Private Ltd.),
5. Magstadt M. Thomas and Peter M.Schotten Understanding Politics, 1993, p.584.
6. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 1968, p.218.
7. Dr Muhammed Ashraf, Hindustani Muashara, (Lahore: Fiction House), 1991, p.149.
(Multan, B. Z. University), 2004, p.46.
Punjab, (Karachi: Oxford University Press), 1999, p178.
13. Zagham Pasha and Shahid Shoukat Ali, History of Lyallpur Now Faisalabad,
(Lahore: Fine Book Printers), 1996, p.126.
B Z University), 2004, p.235
Punjab, (Karachi: Oxford University Press), 1999, P.190.
20. Salmaan Abid, Pakistan ka Nia Siasi Nazam aur Mqami Hakoomtoon ka Kirdar,
(Lahore: Jamhoori Publications), 2002, p.56.
21. Andrew R Wilder, the Pakistani Voter: Electoral Politics and Voting Behavior in the
Punjab, (Karachi: Oxford University Press), 1999, p.190.
22. Samirenda N. Ray, Modern Comparative Politics: Approaches, Methods and
Issues, (New Delhi: Prentice- Hall of India), 1999, p.187.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document