Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Who is the right parliamentary candidate for PPM Feydhoo?


Technically speaking, democracy is the governance of the people for the people by the people. Looking at this definition we can say it is the party primary that unveils the right candidate.

Maldives at a very infant stage of the democracy, it is very important to inculcate democratic values among fellow citizens. While family, friendship, credibility, scholarship and social status influence voters, money is said to be a prime factor that influence present day voters.

One third of voting population is youth and half of them are said to be drug addicts (herein after referred as 'youth groups'). Since narcotic drugs are expensive, youth groups run after candidates for money in the name of domestic necessities. The velocity of candidates running after youth groups is not any second. Candidates, at times, consider youth groups as royal road to their success, and youth groups consider election campaign period as time of contentment.

Another interesting phenomenon is voters change party to cast their vote at party primary for their friends and buddies. They are ready to change party again, soon after casting the party primary vote. Perhaps they join back their old party before the credentials reach Elections Commission.

Looking at the voting population of Feydhoo, a crude estimate of voter distribution may be at the proportion of 1:6:6.2 where 1 is JP/Qaumee and 6 is PPM and 6.2 is MDP. This crude estimate is based on statistics of 2013 presidential election and 2014 local council election. According to this estimate, 10 voters of JP/Qaumee is equal to 60 PPM voters and 62 MDP voters.

Voters of JP/Qaumee and PPM behave like Tom & Jerry while MDP voters are very hard to be swinged.

Looking at MDP candidates, it is said Mirzad, Nihad and Alhan seems to be leading while Aishath Rasheed is the preferred candidate of the elite and intellectual community. Mirzad is the present Feydhoo Councillor and Alhan is the MLA for Feydhoo.

Among PPM candidates none outshines the other and everyone seems to be having equal popularity. It is pretty shocking to learn that President Moomin, Vice President Ibrahim Didi (herein after referred as IB) and Secretary General Hawa, all three prominent figures of PPM Feydhoo contests for the primary this time. I doubt if the democratic values are inculcated among us to be working with heart and soul anytime soon after primary. Another PPM candidate is Marzooq well settled with a travel agency. He is in politics since the very inception of MDP and joined PPM sometime 2012 or 2013.

JP/Qaumee candidate Imad Salih is said to be appearing as an independent candidate. There is a rumor that State Minister of Islamic Affairs Shaikh Mohamed Didi is also contesting.

Looking at the candidates and proportion of voters; it seems spouse, immediate family, extended family, friends, credibility, monetary strength and persuasive power of the candidate are factors to influence voters. Among them, monitory strength, family and spouse might be influencing the most.

MDP candidate is very likely to win if he gets all votes of the party members. However, this is not very easy as almost every family is mixed with is both PPM and MDP members, and members of every family influence each other. The hard feeling of primary failures of the party will also count.

To win the election, PPM candidate must get all votes of the party members plus handful votes from MDP and few votes of JP/Qaumee.

Among the four candidates of PPM who is likely to persuade both JP/Qaumee and MDP voters? Who is the popular candidate among PPM voters? Who has stronger hold on population through family and friends? Are all candidates equally influential? Are spouse of candidates equally supportive and persuade more voters?

I hope the answers help us to decide.