Across Southeast Asia, election promises commonly centre on preferential access to state resources, rather than on policy platforms. In Cambodia, gift-giving practices have been a key strategy for the dominant Cambodian People’s Party to seek electoral support. The surge in support for opposition CNRP in the 2013 elections, campaigning on an anti-money politics agenda, raises questions about popular perceptions of political gift-giving.
The 2014 parliamentary elections in India delivered an unexpectedly clear mandate for change: the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won an absolute majority in the lower house, the Lok Sabha. Its controversial leading candidate Narendra Modi is the new prime minister of India. How could the BJP achieve such an overwhelming victory? This article analyses the elections and some of the main reasons for the unprecedented BJP triumph. It starts by evaluating voter turnout and its consequences and then discusses the result itself.
India’s experiment in mass democratization has been explained and legitimized with the help of a persuasive model: the ideal-type concept of the “dominant one-party system”. Continuously elaborated and adjusted, it has served to analyze India’s political evolution and idealize its peculiar variant of secularism, federalism and (Congress-dominated) party politics. In addition, it has upheld the Congress Party’s ideology and programme.