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Some Desi Electoral Data

Urban Rural partyshare PMLN

I was asked to run some numbers using local electoral data today, and a couple of potentially interesting things came up. The first is a visibly pronounced blip in party seat and vote-share between 1997 and 2002, and the second is an observation on where larger parties stand on the rural-urban seat issue. As most stories go, General Musharraf’s mauling ... Read More »

Growing Pains: Reflections on Party Development in Punjab and KP

In the limelight (photo: Dawn)

In the past month or so, two unrelated and currently ongoing stories have highlighted some interesting aspects of political party development in Pakistan.  The first is Pervaiz Khattak’s Chief Minister-ship and PTI’s management of the coalition in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and the second are the debates, or lack thereof, on local government elections in Punjab. The reason why I bring them up ... Read More »

The Definitive Five Rupees Election Post

Electoral Turnout over time, source: ECP data

So it wouldn’t be a real election if there weren’t at least one pre-election post on FiveRupees. As a disclaimer though, this isn’t a prediction post – (one would have to be very stupid to put ungrounded fluff on the Internet a few days before an election) – but you can think of this as a stuff-to-watch-out-for guide. Yes, I ... Read More »

Electoral Evolution – Lahore and Karachi

Percentage Seat Share Lahore

Apart from a whole host of other differences, Karachi and Lahore have had starkly different electoral histories. Plowing through electoral data from 1970 till the 2008 general election, there’s a clear trajectory that both cities have taken, which has seen the transfer of power from one type of political actor to another. The evolution, in some senses, is quite indicative ... Read More »

Calling an Election, Part II: Questions on Urban Voting in Pakistan

Assemblies are due to be dissolved in 10 days

(As a follow up to my first post on electoral surveying, this second, and admittedly long overdue, piece focuses on pre-election reportage and some questions regarding urban elections in Pakistan.) In the late 90s, Andrew Wilder wrote that the vast majority of electoral coverage, both in the vernacular and the English press, tends to focus on biraderi dominated voting blocs, ... Read More »

Darwin Award of the Day

credit: Avon-Lake patch/Christina Johnson

Avon-Lake – OH has a website that carried this piece by local resident, Kathleen O’ Brien, on how ‘Animals Can’t Talk’. It was brought to my attention by @mattaikins via twitter, and I’m pasting it below because everyone needs to read it. (This is legit btw and NOT from The Onion.)   Signs that read “Deer Crossing” and the like are going ... Read More »

Calling an Election – Part I

PML-N and PTI score the highest approval ratings in the latest IRI poll

As things stand, Pakistan is only a couple of months away from a general election, which means there’s a lot more election related analysis in the national press these days. There was an IRI poll a few weeks back, and then Herald and SDPI launched their own election poll just last week. Both have different samples and fairly different methodologies, ... Read More »

Qadri’s Pantomime

Qadri's container parked outside his residence in Lahore (photo credit: Ali W. Hashmi)

Goes without saying, Tahir-ul-Qadri’s little pantomime in Islamabad certainly won’t be missed. We can sleep easy knowing that a severe lack of options compelled the powers-that-be to import a cartoon from Canada, put him in a container, and park him in Islamabad *hoping* that something would come of it.     Well, it didn’t.   For that, we can thank ... Read More »

“One for you, Nineteen for me”: On Politicians and Taxes

Unhappy at being asked to file income tax returns (source: Pakistan Today)

So today, the Center for Investigative Reporting in Pakistan (CIRP) launched a report on current levels of tax evasion amongst parliamentarians in Pakistan. The author of the report, who also happens to be the head of this new center, is Umar Cheema – a Jang group journo who previously found himself on the wrong-side of the military/intelligence agencies. The report ... Read More »

Peaking When It Counts

Milking the Machine (photo: AP)

Remember this?     Or this?   Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? In the year or so that’s passed since Imran Khan exploded on to the political scene (mostly in Punjab), he’s moved from being the boisterous, loud, over-reported Prime Minister-in-waiting, to a slightly more circumspect leader trying to keep his party in shape for a national ... Read More »