India has been voting, in phases, over the past two months. This process is amazing – it is the largest democracy in the world, and it is conducted 100% with electronic voting machines. Turnout was high; indeed, more people in India voted than the entire population of the US.
The voting proceeded for weeks, during which exit polls indicated an extremely close race between the incumbent UPA coalition (led by the Congress party) and the NDA coalition (led by the BJP).
Today, the election results were announced. The results are surprising: not only did the UPA retain power, but the Congress party itself swept 201 seats – the most any party has received in over 25 years. Thus, it seems, Congress will be able to lead without needing to compromise so often with smaller coalition parties. It appears that India has chosen stability over change.
Manmohan Singh will return as Prime Minister, the first person since Nehru to return after completing a five-year term. Singh, an economist and one-time professor, is widely credited as responsible for the 1991 reforms that led to India’s IT and BPO boom, and more recently, to its relative fiscal stability in the face of the world economic recession.
This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2020, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.