The rural voters of Tamil Nadu say that the government performed the worst on the Agricultural loan availability and better employment. The urban voters say that the worst performance of the government was on curbing noise pollution.
The Association for Democratic Reforms conducted a survey comprising over 16,000 respondents in every constituency in Tamil Nadu.
The purpose of the survey was to find out what voters really want from the Government and how they rate the performance on the issues that are important to them.
Rural Voter Priorities
Rural voters still form the bulk of people in the State. When asked for their top three priorities, they said that Agriculture Loans, Employment and Electricity for agriculture were the top priorities.
24.75% of voters said that Agriculture Loan Availability was one of the top three priorities for them, 22.88% of voters said that for Better Employment Opportunities, and 20.72% for electricity for agriculture. Clearly they show that issues of agriculture and employment are the top priorities for them. About 68% of voters gave one of these three as their top priority.
Roads and transport, polluted water sources, water for agriculture, agriculture inputs like seeds and fertilizers, along with Health facilities were the top priorities.
It is also interesting to note what issues were not priorities for them. For instance reservation for jobs, education, terrorism, strong military, corruption, law and order were not top priorities.
Rural Performance Rating of Government
Among the worst rated performance was on Agriculture Loan Availability and Better Employment opportunities. These unfortunately are among the top 3 priorities for the people. The other issue in the top three priorities, namely Electricity for Agriculture also did poorly according to voters.
There were a total of 31 issues for which they gave priorities and then rated Government's performance. Thus for the top three priorities, Agriculture Loan Availability performance was ranked 27th out of 31, better Employment Opportunities 26th, and Electricity for Agriculture 20th. So high priority issues for voters had very bad performance.
Voters were also asked to pick just 2 issues on which they rated the Government as good, another two issues on which they rated the Government as Average and another 2 on which they rated the Government as 'Bad'.
So Agriculture Loan Availability was chosen by 22.79% of voters as one of the two issues on which they wanted to rate the Government.
The maximum possible score was 5, and the actual scores ranged from 2.56 to 3.14 for the top priorities. There were some priority issues where the Government performance was relatively good. These were Hospitals and PHCs, Water for Agriculture and Sand Stone quarrying and mining.
The last may be an environmental hazard but people may have supported it due to the employment generated. The voters rated Government performance high on issues that were not important to them.
These included Terrorism and Strong Military. However only 2.65% and 1.16% rated these issues as Important.
Urban Voter Priorities
Urban Voters had different priorities. Employment was the highest priority for them, whereas for rural voters it was the number 2 priority.
Urban voters also said Noise Pollution and the Drinking Water were the other two priorities. In the next category were Health Care, Roads and Traffic Congestion. Every voter in Tamil Nadu named one of these 6 issues below as important.
These were followed closely by water and air pollution, public transport, law and order and electricity for domestic use.
Urban Performance Rating of Government
The top urban priorities of Employment, Noise Pollution and Drinking Water were ranked 19th, 31st and 23rd out of 31 issues in terms of performance. Thus Noise Pollution, one of the top priorities for voters had the worst performance.
For the next level of priorities, Traffic Congestion was ranked 30th in terms of performance, Health Care was ranked 18th and Roads at 24th. Once again the top priorities for voters had the worst performance as for rural voters.
The best performance was on Terrorism, Strong Military and Ration on the PDS system. However the percent of respondents who chose these issues was low at 5.5%, 4% and 3.24%.
If voters expect good performance from the Government, they are likely to be disappointed. In democracy as played out today, one party has to merely defeat the other party, not necessarily deliver good governance. To win they seem to resort to freebies for voters rather than deliver good governance.
Voters choose 2 items and rank them as Good Performance, 2 others for Average Performance, and 2 more for Bad Performance.
However the performance was low on a scale of 1 to 5, and out of the 31 issues relative performance was also very low. Voters choose 2 items and rank them as Good Performance, 2 others for Average Performance, and 2 more for Bad Performance.
A High Priority issue like Employment was chosen by a higher percent of voters for rating performance. However performance was low on a scale of 1 to 5, and out of the 31 issues, relative performance was also very low as for instance Noise Pollution is ranked 30th.
However, compared to Rural Voters, there are no clear set of issues on which voters responded in large numbers. Again, the top performance scores are for issues that are not top priority for voters.