Why Voters Elect ‘Criminals’ (The Indian Express)

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The Indian ExpressIn an opinion piece published by The Indian Express, Assistant Professor of Government Simon Chauchard writes about political elections in India, posing the question: “Why do voters then select ‘criminals’ when they go to the polls?”

In part, writes Chauchard, the answer may lie in a widespread perception that criminal charges are political in nature. “As a consequence, even well-publicized criminal charges may not necessarily damage a candidate’s reputation,” he writes.

“More importantly, voters may not always perceive that they actually have alternatives. In a climate colored by general distrust of the political class, voters may doubt that a presumably virtuous candidate—one who has not incurred criminal charges—would in the long run turn out to be a more virtuous representative than a ‘criminal’ they are already familiar with.”

Read the full opinion piece, published 3/24/14 by The Indian Express.