Sunday, October 26, 2008

What Issues Will Decide the Election?

The priority political parties give to different election issues may be gauged from the campaign time they devote to each issue. Based on this one could easily compile a list of top election issues as seen by the parties. But what are the top election issues as seen by the voters? This is more difficult to gauge accurately as it would require an expensive survey. But a fairly good idea may be obtained by interviewing voters from different backgrounds. From such exercises it appears that political party priorities and voter preferences appear to be quite different.

Top issues for parties based on the time devoted:

  • Religion: Both MDP and DRP claim to be the sole defenders of the faith. DRP accuses MDP of plotting to bring Christianity to the Maldives. MDP accuses President Gayoom of fostering an irreligious culture.
  • Competence of candidate: DRP accuses Anni of lack of experience, incompetency and inciting lawlessness. MDP counters by claiming it has a better team, and accuses Gayoom of being corrupt and a failure.
  • Drugs: MDP accuses Gayoom of failing to curb the spread of drugs. DRP accuses Anni of being sympathetic to drug addicts.
  • Past record: DRP claims it has an impressive development record. MDP dismisses it saying it is not enough compared to the opportunities and resources.
  • Reforms: MDP claims the reforms of the past 4 years were due to their pressure. DRP says the reforms were initiated by President Gayoom.
  • Development promises: In the second round of the election, manifestos have taken a backseat in both DRP and MDP camps.

Top reasons for voter preference, based on interviews:

  • Personality: Most voters were not able to tell why they liked a particular candidate. Many people who voted for Gayoom said they simply liked him. Anni appears to be a bit behind Gayoom in this area. There are many people who say they would have voted for Hassan Saeed, had he been in the second round.
  • Perceived sincerity and trustworthiness: More than the actual promises, most voters gave preference to how they thought each candidate will keep those promises. Interestingly voter decisions on the sincerity of a candidate were not based on any objective criteria, but subjective perception.
  • Perceived competence: Capability of candidates was also decided by the voters based on subjective impressions. For example, while many voters thought Hassan Saeed was capable, few of them actually knew any details of his work.

[Note: this is not a scientific study and no claim is made for the accuracy of the findings.]


Muskaan said...

I want neither Anni nor Maumoon to be the president of this country. I do not want to vote for Maumoon because of the current government's corrupt history. Because the man simply refuses to see that there has not been enough development in the islands in the last 30 years. Because the man takes the entire credit for everything good hat has happened, and always finds a way to blame someone else for everything that goes wrong.

I will not vote for Anni because I donnt believe that he will make a good leader. He has no experience in government, has had far too much experience as an unlawful citizen who simply creates havoc and disruption. I simply do not trust him. I do not buy the claims that MDP has a stronger team. If that team includes the likes of Zaki, Mariya and Dhiyana, not to mention Gasim, Jabir and Nashid, I think we are doomed if they come into power.

I do not know Hassan Saeed personally, but I am familiar with his work both here and abroad. I do have my reservations about him, but if I had the choice, I would vote for him. But never for an alliance that includes MDP and JP.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 7:39 pm,

In your view are both of them equally bad? Isn’t there a lesser of the two evils?

This is not a perfect world. Sometimes you have to choose between the frying pan and the fire. You can't escape from the fact that one of them will be elected tomorrow, whether you like him or not.

Democracies fail when good people stay away and bad people take over.

Muskaan said...

To anonymous at 11:18:
If you noticed, I did not say that I will not vote for Maumoon. I said I do not want to vote for Maumoon, and that I will not vote for Anni.

Rhetoric Thought said...

I would like to point out that

Religion: Actually both parties are throwing accuses of being Christian missionary.

And yes Maldivian people are still in the dark. Most of them are kept in the dark. Gay-yooms policy.

Insha Allah lets change this Dicktator, by the ballot box. If we can archive this it would be a af first time that a dictator is falling from the ballot box.


Oh please do say what Hassan Saeeds work here is.

Anonymous said...

even in this scenario to choose the lesser of two evils i'll vote for maumoon not because he is the most perfect person for the job, but simply because anni has disappointed his people before they go and cast the vote in favour of him. He is outrightly saying at the middle of the race that I`m not capable to become the president of this country therefore i`ll will make the way for either Qasim or Hassan saeed to take over, and Allah knows the awaiting tug of war between these power hungry crooks.

Anonymous said...

Anni last night said MDP will get USD 300 million Dollars within the first 15 days of his Presidency, (Immediately I looked out from the window to see if there is a bright star shining on the horizon, Jesus must be coming back)

OK, he said he will sell some desks, pictures and some old clothes of maumoon from the presidential palace, but are they worth USD 300 Million.

This is cheap politics he is playing to decieve the people.

I dont see him any different from Maumoon when he is lying...THATS A BLOODY LIE, HE KNOW HE CANT GET IT

Anonymous said...

issues? issues??.....this has nothing to do with issues! Hardly anobody would have read in any detail, any of the manifestos....this is about a FACE, that's been around for 30 fokin years.period

the man will win, he will win a landslide...becos while we were farting on the blogosphere, he was tending to his flocks- those poor ignorant native folk in the islands....we have forgotten them, maumoon owns them as far as they are concerned!

Shareef said...

I will not vote for Anni for several reasons but the main reason is that he has now forgotten his campaign promises. He made us dream of another Maldives but one day he woke up and changed his mind and said we will go to Aneh Dhivehi Raajje only after the mid term election. Now the only reason he wants our vote is to change the government. Where in the world people vote someone to the office of the President just for the sake of seeing a new FACE.

We know change has come over the last five years and we know it will come even in the years to come. There are some people who would disagree with that but their only argument is that Maumoon will not let go of powers and with him as the president nothing will change. That was the same lame excuse they had even in the early years of the reform process. That was the same excuse Hassan Saeed had when he left the government. But the reality is different. Now we see a changed Maumoon as well as a changed system. We have reached the end of reform agenda which Hassan said ‘has failed’.

Maumoon has done mistakes and he should be responsible for some well known cases of corruption. But when you think of replacing him the available option at the moment is Anni who don’t even seem to be calling the shots anymore. In the first round of campaigning Anni looked like he was in charge and looked a bit like a leader. He looked like he knew what we want and has our concerns in mind but now he seems to be concentrating more on pleasing Hassan and Gasim than his party members and the Maldivian voters. I am beginning to think that the power sharing deals made with other parties will even hinder the reform process that still has to go a long way before we can call this a full democracy. For us ‘poor ignorant native folks’ it is the development that matters most. Not a name or a face.

Anonymous said...

Yesss Shareef, I had to say it, to make YOU come to a conclusion make you say what probably a lot of people are thinking and not saying...


Anonymous said...

You totally neglected one area in this election. Those of us who want a CHANGE of leadership. I believe that Maumoon had made enough blunders and used government funds as if it were his own. He gave millions of Rufiyaa to his friends and relatives( from Finance Ministry) to campaign in the last election for parliament. He is corrupt to the core. His only thought is how to stay at Theemuge till his death. I will vote for Anni not because I like him. But I believe we cannot bring democracy to this nation if Maumoon is re elected. We can think of a leader after we change this man.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 6:39 am,
I agree with you that many people who voted for Anni did so for change. But DRP managed to counter that by using the following dialogue: "Gayoom has been too long and corrupt. I want change, but ...Anni?...He's not the right person as president."

For examples of this technik you can read some of the comments posted here.

Anonymous said...

I will vote Anni despite not having voted him. For me voting Maumoon is condoning all the horrendous things that he presided over. So voting him and allowing another term is simply not an option. I don't have the slightest confidence in him to bring about any meaningful reform.

He had his chance, for 30 long years and he squandered it terribly. I don't think Anni will be capable of the evil that Maumoon perpetrated.

Anonymous said...

Well planned campaign abdulla Waheed, whats obvious is one is a killer and the is still a victim. by voting for maumoon ure letting a killer kill more and by not its justice

Anonymous said...

by saying he brought changes without any pressure, Gayoom becomes the first rape victim who says she enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

Personall I dont like the charactor of Anni. But I loath Maumoon for what he has done to this country as if this is his inheritence. For the past 30 years he has the oportunity for taking us to a much higher level than this. Y has he not done it so far? And Y is he promisin all those things that he has so far been unable to accomplish? The reason is evident. He wanted to prove to the world that this country is disabled. People are uneducated and dump such that they are unable to decide what is right and wrong, like he said in his speech.
Therefore even I dont like Anni, I will vote for him because defeating Maumoon is the only we will get our true country back.

Anonymous said...

As the Anonymous (October 27, 2008 7:33 AM) have said, tomorrow, Inshaa Allah, I and my family will vote for Anni.

I hope Shareef is not a fortune teller to know what Anni would be like, or as a leader in the future. Shareef and the like should remember the maldivian saying, "Vithaahiru molhu e ran muthakee, ithaage bandun vihey dhariyey...".

Well, shareef, as if the Auditor General's reports aren't enough to let you know the abyss into which we have been thrown by this Dictator, keep voting the Dictator to help him to further ruin this country, so that no one will ever be able to put this country on its heels!

Mr. Shareef you and the likes of you are voting for the Dictator not for ereasons you have said, but because of your jealousy towards Anni. That is the truth. Sorry for having to tell the truth. It is good that the country is learning that there still are a few who despise change and cannot simply tolerate it.

By announcing that he would hold a mid-term election, Anni has demonstrated that the unity and well-being of the country is much more important to him than the post of the Presidency. Folks, vote for CHANGE!!!

Anonymous said...

Between Maumoon and Anni, I believe Anni is the better choice to be the next President. Even though I did not vote 4 him last time, I will vote for him this time. A vote for him is also a vote for the CHANGE we need so badly. My friends also said they wud vote 4 Anni.

Anonymous said...

Did maumoon had any experience when he elected for president in 1978? He was a mullah and no more. Oh yes! I forgot, he was the guy who kept on propagating hate campaigns against the then President Nasir, before and after getting elected. Let us all vote for ANNI.

Anonymous said...

By any standard, the team comprising of Anni, Gasim, Hassan Saeed, Dr Waheed, Dr. Shaheed, Dr. Jameel, and Ibra are far superior to the team consisting of Maumoon, Azima and Athif Shukoor, Ali Waheed, Yaamin, Aneesa and Thasmeen. I will vote for the candidate representing the first team. That's for sure.

Anonymous said...

i really don't agree with shareef. it is obvious maumoon will not bring any useful changes to this system. if we carefully look those independent commissions he setup. do you really think they are independent? i think only institute so far working independently is Auditor general office. now Maumoon is trying to impeach Auditor General just because he is trying make government accountable. so this is Maumoons sincerity. still shareef wants prove us Maumoon is perfect. I think Shareef really doesn't know what is meaning of reform. it is meant to improve administrative capability and capacity, particularly in the developing countries, for the purpose of achieving national goals effectively. In other words it is meant to encourage an effective administration capable of bringing about economic, political and social development, or, as explained by Caiden, to enhance and increase the quality of public services and deliver such goals and services to citizens more economically, efficiently and effectively (Caiden, 1969).

Anonymous said...

I will vote for Anni. I dont have anyting personal against Anni. I dont care about his looks and his physicla appearence which is most bothered factor for some people to me which is absurd. Those who say Anni is not fit and he is a man of unlawfull activities must be nuts of ignorance. It seems to me these people are buying the lies of murdering dictator so cheaply. Mr. Anni is thousand times worth voting than Mr. Golhaabo whose hands are tainted with blood of innocent Maldivians.

Muna said...

For me Maumoon is not a choice! Why? Because, under a presidential system any one person can only be the president for 2 terms (Maumoon has has already ruled for 6 terms!). And therefore, if Maumoon really means dimocracy and reform to this country by reforming the econstitution, he should not have stood up for Presidency this time.

IF he wan't to make sure democracy and reform be established, he should step down and can still assist the next president in completing the task. But instead we see him trying to break the very back bone of Democracy (which are the independent bodies) by trying to sack the independant Auditor General just bacause he's trying to Audit Maumoon and his dealings.

This show's that Maumoon cannot stand Dimocracy how can he bring dimocracy and good governance to this country?
He does not know or do not want to abide with the international best practice in governing.

Also he says that he has ruled the country in the best manner and would not change a thing, therefore, denying that the country needs any improvement by improving the poor conditions of it's majority people.

This clearly show's that he does not care about the people!
(if unable to view go to and type search
"101 East - Maldives president")

Anonymous said...

Mr. Whaeed kalea ves G***** vare ne dho. Ann ehenun vanee kaley ves thee corruptionge maa mathee layaae viyaa. Kaley ves nukuraa vakkame nunagaa naajaaiz faaidhaey thi sarukaaaruthery nei. aharmena ves igey kalley koffah huir vakkantha vesws, mihaarudh kon fuppume thilhaaves thi fuppanee

Anonymous said...

Like someone said it is like a race between a killer and a victim.

I need Gayoom out. he is corrupt to the core. As adalath said Gayoom is a full blown Hypocrite.

According to Sahīh Bukhārī, the Prophet said, "Whoever has the following four (characteristics) will be a pure hypocrite and whoever has one of the following four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy unless and until he gives it up. 1. Whenever he is entrusted, he betrays. 2. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie. 3. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous. 4. Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very imprudent, evil and insulting manner."