Role of Vote Bloc in Politics of West Punjab: A Study of Voting Behaviour in a village Jhok Bodo District Dera Ghazi Khan
Keywords:Social organization, Economic structure, Kinship networks, Vote bloc, Patronage, Collective action.
This research about the voting behavior of rural west Punjab was
conducted through participant observation in the village Jhok
Bodo, District Dera Ghazi Khan. In this research I probed into the
role of social organization and economic structure on voting
behavior of the people. The rural socio-economic structure
provides the foundation of political structure. People strategically
gather around their kinship networks and form vote blocs to
negotiate with the patron to bargain for private and public goods.
They give power to their biraderi leader who bargains with the
patrons for collective action. The effectiveness and power of the
biraderi is based upon economic power and social status. In this
research I found that the voters in rural west Punjab are neither
dependent voters nor they blindly follow their parochial identities.
They are benefit seeking political actors. They in absence of
universal services delivery and dysfunctional public institutions
negotiate benefits with the politicians by strategically gathering
their kinship networks for their collective actions. So they are
rational voters and they try to maximize their material benefits by
using the power of their votes. So in electoral politics of rural west
Punjab, vote bloc plays the major role in determining the voting
behavior of the people. The ideological commitment to political
parties or programmatic following in politics has nothing to do
with the rural voters of west Punjab.