Political Parties and the Future of Voter Engagement in India

Supporting leaders to overcome the challenges of connecting and building a community in today’s rapidly evolving democratic landscape is Meradesh’s mission. As a data-engineering firm invested in civic-tech, we are convinced that the infrastructure we build and the services we provide matters—now more than ever.    

Leaders in the current competitive electoral scenario deserve cutting-edge innovation to help them engage, lead, and meet their voters where they are.    

We used the entirety of 2021 to build Meradesh to deal with real political challenges and trends. Here we list five major trends that we believe are re-shaping electoral engagement.    

Direct Voter Contact– It is not a strategy anymore. Easily available public data, voter involvement, and integration of AI-led tech has made direct contact with voters more of an everyday operation. If an organization or a PAC considers it to be not vital- they stand the chance of losing touch and the attention of their voters. It is slowlbecoming clear- that voters’ attention and aspirations can be captured and shaped by organizations that are proactively connecting with voters on the ground.    

Data Privacy Matters– European Commission set precedence when it recently got fined under its new GDPR rules. The message is simple- Personally identifiable Information, such as a name, address, email, etc. needs to be protected and in the eyes of the law- ‘data controllers’ will be held responsible for their security.   

Building robust and secure infrastructure compliant with legal expectations will soon become a necessity. Organizations that invest in privacy and security will have a distinct advantage in building trust and expanding their database.   

Digital Infrastructure– Digitalization is introducing speed with accuracy. A synchronized digital infrastructure of a political party can now direct regional offices, observe their efficiency, and in the process sense the electorate’s concerns nationally. The overall speed at which information can be gathered and action is taken, drastically improves when the overall infrastructure is digitalized.    

A connected and portable digital infrastructure enables members to stay informed of the overall organizational activities. It further helps them perfectly coordinate outreach and analyze the overall performance for efficiency. This is an advantage that helps emerging PACs and organizations optimize their strength and reduce wastage.   

Grassroots First– The real fight is on the ground. Recent elections showed that organizations with driven cadres and volunteers can make huge inroads into territories ‘owned’ by legacy organizations. The organization’s ability to build grassroots-level momentum has a compounding effect that cannot be discounted in today’s hyper-connected world.    

Continuous Campaigning Mode– The political engagement cycle of campaigning and consolidation is getting increasingly shorter. The current default approach by the most prominent Indian political organizations is to be ‘always-on campaigning mode’. This approach negates the notion among the voters where they feel that parties only engage with them at election time.   

Political organizations need to systematically talk to almost all stakeholders if they intend to outmaneuver the competition. Using technology to reinforce organizations, improve productivity, and execute flawlessly is the way to go. A combination of motivated grassroots workers aided by tech is the model we urge PACs and political leaders to consider.