Lok Sabha 2009

AJAX based widgets that fetch XML feeds from various sources on Election-related news coverage… GoogleMaps that chart the course from your house to the Electoral Center… Comparison info on any electoral candidate like you would compare Nokia handsets… FAQs on how the whole voting thing works…

If all this sounds too good to be true, think again.  It’s all happening in India, this election season!

If, like me, you are also tired of the lack of transparency & access to information, and the limited accountability of your political representatives, you will appreciate just how much any one of these tools can help.  Bear in mind that the list above is just a sample.  There’s all that and more on the world wide web, available at the click of a mouse, to any one with a Net connection.

Sure, some of the features work only for major cities.  Sure, sometimes, spelling mistakes in the voter list can make finding your polling both a little tricky.  Sure, you may print out the directions from GoogleMaps only to discover (at times) that you were directed to the wrong center!  But, if this is what can be achieved in just one election, imagine what we’ll be able to do the next time around!!!

I was able to look up my name on the voter list (showing my old address and constituency), access key stats on my constituency, look up all the candidates that are contesting from that region, read their parties’ manifestos, and access their track record on parliamentary attendance and criminal cases pending against them.  All this, from the comfort of my AC office! 

Thanks to these tools, I also now know that Gurudas Kamat (a respected Congress candidate) has had to declare a 408% increase in his net assets since the last election, and Pramod Kasurde (an independant candidate contesting this year) has only passed his 8th standard!

This country we live in needs change more than any thing else.  And, that change will not come unless you and I move our butts and make our opinion count. 

Head on to these sites to find out all you need to, and ensure that you cast your vote on Election Day…

  • JaagoRe  – Voter Registration, Polling Booth details, FAQs and more…
  • MumbaiVotes – Info on Political Candidates for any region of Mumbai
  • Lok Sabha Elections 2009 – Type in your locality to customise this

Do you still have a good excuse for not doing your duty?!  Really?

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