Monday, May 6, 2013

Back To Business

Now that the general election is over – pending, of course, the inevitable legal review – it’s time to get back to stuff that actually matters.

For the record, polling was peaceful, orderly and generally well conducted where I voted. The queues were a little long, especially for the higher numbered streams, but people mostly took this patiently in stride. EC officials kindly helped my mother into the station (she’s wheel-chair bound), jumping the queue in the process. That was a relief, especially in the mid-morning heat. Kudos to them.

I hope your election day was just as uneventful and peaceful, and I fervently pray it stays that way.


  1. Just a query

    1.Are there any local economic studies linking increased disposable income with political attitudes and thence voting patterns?

    2. Ancillary to that, does a propensity exist amongst economic actors to "maximise" increasing incomes via political means? I mean, if say A is currently enjoying higher income than before, is he more likely to leverage on political pathways (as in selecting "self enriching" policies)to optimise those income gains.

    3. Whats your view regarding my contention, that apart from the existence of a race divide, an urban-rural divide in voting patterns, there also exists the phenomena of an intra-urban divide, a less acknowledged or ignored contention. I am referring to voters from more urbane, wealthy wards voting in one mode (read; one side of the divide) and those from less privileged backgrounds voting in another mode. If such is the case( and I believe it is based on preliminary analysis), wouldnt income differentials have played a substantial part in proceedings....and by extension/default whatever, consolidate the race divide theory as well.

    Noticed that you have tired of answering queries, maybe due to work commitments or other reasons, but would really appreciate your take on the above.

    P/s of additional interest:



    Warrior 231

    1. Warrior,

      Yeah, busy with work...and my golf game.

      1. None that I could find. Of course, our universities don't exactly make things easy to look for specialised topics.

      2. My general sense of the literature is that voters don't act that way, despite politicians and the general public belief to the contrary.

      3. I can't say yea or nay - I'd like to take a stab at examining the question, but the data for this is simply not publicly available.

  2. Sorry again, my comment above arose after looking at the patterns of voting and especially after reading this

    But while it makes for a very cogent and plausible case, it doesn't seem to apply in the Malaysian context despite Merdeka Centre's last poll indicating that the economy (25%)was the top voter concern, and the only one garnering double digit responses at that!

    Either the economic gains have not percolated down, a mind-boggling oddity given these reports in pro-opposition sources and given a certain ethnicity's grip over the economy:

    or something more sinister is at work, like ethnic drum beating for instance. In that regard, the intra-urban divide seems to lend further credence to the ethnic theory.

    Warrior 231

    1. With respect to the economic gains, consider the following hypotheses:

      1. People suffer from money illusion, which means that perceived (nominal) income growth is probably more important than actual (real) income growth:

      Nominal GDP growth has been slowing (last chart on that post), even as real GDP has been sustained. Therefore, there's a sense of disconnect between reported real GDP growth, and what people feel in their pockets. In 4Q2012, nominal growth was actually lower than real growth. We're producing more in goods and services, but earning less in current dollar terms.

      2. Talking about growth last year, it has been concentrated in construction and investment activities - narrow growth, not broad based growth. The benefits haven't been wide-spread.

      3. Stagnant commodity prices are hitting many wallets - somewhat to my surprise, Chinese companies have a significant presence in agriculture, not just domestic manufacturing. Low commodity prices are affecting both Bumi and Chinese income gains.

      But I think factor number one is probably the main reason.