- Leaders of all stripes want to increase state power to achieve political goals
- They must therefore differentiate themselves based on personality
- This has polarized politics and led to disenchantment with democracy
- Populism, based on majority rule, has risen as a result
In mid-March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a landslide win in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. The victory strengthens Mr. Modi’s position as he passes the midway point in his five-year term. After the economic disruption caused by his decision to withdraw 86 percent of the banknotes in circulation (in a heavily cash-based economy), the election had assumed huge significance. Under India’s first-past-the-post system, the BJP won 75 percent of Uttar Pradesh constituencies with only about 40 percent of the vote. Moreover, turnout was only 60 percent. In effect, BJP won a landslide with the support of only 25 percent of eligible voters.