Strike rate is a concept which has been popularised in the context of Cricket, both in bowling as well as batting. When a batsman has faced a certain number of balls, the number of balls faced becomes the denominator and the runs scored becomes the numerator. The resultant product is the Strike rate. Likewise in bowling, the product of the total number of balls bowled divided by the number of wickets taken would be called STRIKE RATE.
Importing this concept into Elections may help inflate and deflate the egos of many leaders of political parties, but is it the right way to assess the result? I guess not.
In electoral politics, this concept has been imported to mean the product arrived at by dividing the total number of seats contested by a party divided by the number of seats won and multiplying it by 100.
This concept is being bandied about to camouflage the dismal performance of some parties. When there is coalition, there are bound to be alliances and seat sharing consequently. When the seat sharing takes place, alliance partners do not contest in the same seats; and the final count of wins becoming the denominator of the total seats contested, and multiplied by 100, ignores a very important aspect.
In an alliance, not only there is seat sharing – which means the un-contesting partner in an alliance not merely forgoes an opportunity to contest in the constituency, but also helps his partner in the contest by providing resources, moral support and all other support to ensure that the alliance partner wins.
But of late, some in a partnership just about forego contesting in favour of a partner and not only ensure that they do not provide the necessary support, but also secretly ensure that transference of their party votes do not take place.
This kind of practice happens when disparate elements which do neither have congruence of interests nor being birds of similar feather merely flock together, with the intention of ensuring that someone else does not capture power or to have a bigger bargaining power even within the alliance.
In the Israeli elections, if noted carefully, this would be visible.
The final effect is that within the same alliance partners there are rich partners with unlimited resources and indigent ones also. Further transference of votes become osmotic, the weaker partner’s cadres vote as per alliance whereas the stronger and economically stronger parties don’t feel obligated to go to the booth to cast their votes. There are no boasting rights in having voted for a candidate, who probably doesn’t belong to one’s own caste or creed or belief. This indifference creeps in and the party leadership is not overly concerned with getting their base voters to the booth in a constituency where their party candidate is not nominated!
In this scenario, the Media, especially the electronic media goes to town exalting certain parties, for their own oblique reasons, and ascribing a higher STRIKE RATE to such parties, is ludicrous.
It is time that the Media gets into educating the public and laying open the internecine strategies practised by certain parties to ride on the strength of their alliance partners and pretend to be reciprocating, whereas all that they do is stymie the resources of alliance parties and ensure that transference of votes do not take place, and ensure that their parties fatten their electorate base by cannibalising other parties in the bargain.