The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Daksh have conducted a voter perception survey of over 20,000 respondents across all the 288 Assembly constituencies in Maharashtra. The survey collected demographic information of respondents, along with their ratings on the relative importance of various issues in the run-up to the elections. Respondents have also rated the performance of the status of governance on these issues in the past five years, reflecting a sort of “performance rating”.The larger purpose of this survey is to highlight voter priorities so that they are reflected in the election agenda and manifestos of political parties. And also so that electoral debates are on voter issues rather than agenda imposed by parties. It is hoped that the manifestos of future Government will reflect these voter priorities.
The key objectives of this perception assessment is to generate:
- An improved understanding of the important needs and expectations of the voters.
- Momentum among key stake holders for addressing priority issues
- Enable comparison of governance indicators and ratings across constituencies and districts
- Provide a richer understanding of ground level issues
The findings of the survey:
The results of the Perception Assessment shows the striking difference between the priorities of the voters and the performance on those issues and highlights the overall inadequate efforts of all institutions in fulfilling their role in providing what the voters really need.
The primary aim of the assessment is therefore to evaluate the effectiveness of elected representatives, government institutions, mechanisms etc. in terms of planning and providing for the needs of the country and fostering transparency and integrity. In addition, it seeks to promote the assessment process as a springboard for action among the government and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in terms of policy reforms, evidence based advocacy, or further in-depth evaluations of specific governance issues. This assessment should serve as a basis for key stakeholders to advocate for sustainable and effective reforms.
The average performance rating of the legislators from Maharashtra, as perceived by the voters is 5.28 on a scale of 10.
The average importance of issues was rated as 7.52 on a scale of 10 by the voters. Thus, as we can see, there is a huge gap between the voter’s expectations on governance issues and performance of the legislators on those issues.