Apparatus in Need of Reform
KK Kailash
WHO MOVED MY VOTE? DIGGING THROUGH INDIAN ELECTORAL DATA by Yugank Goyal and Arun Kumar Kaushik Westland Non-Fiction, Chennai, 2022, 288 pp., 499.00
June 2023, volume 47, No 6

In Who Moved My Vote?, Yugank Goyal and Arun Kumar Kaushik have a simple point to make. Elections are pivotal to modern representative democracy, and the credibility and legitimacy of the political system depend on how well election results reflect the people’s will. The authors highlight some quirks of the First Past the Post (FPTP) system. They argue that the current electoral system in India systematically falls short of the ideal.

Some form of election is used in almost every sphere for decision-making. The book’s central idea is the magnitude of leakage in the FPTP system. In all electoral systems, votes do not necessarily translate perfectly into seats. The authors call this gap between votes and seats leakage. In some electoral systems, fewer votes are lost when translated to seats compared to others. The authors argue this leakage distorts election results and diminishes democracy. They conclude that the quality of democracy hinges on the nature of the electoral process and more importantly, on how well people’s choices get translated into decisions.

Continue reading this review