I read with great interest M Maxwell’s letter dated March 4, titled ‘The numbers favour the PPP in a two-horse race.’ While I do understand his sentiments and share some of his arguments, for the PPP to win the elections I do not agree the demographics are in their favour; in fact a number of other factors including the demographics will go against them.
The full census results significantly have been withheld, and one can speculate on the many reasons, but until it has been denied, the full census is perhaps being hidden because of the new ethnic makeup of the country which is unfavourable to the PPP’s Indian support base, as well as because of the nature of the voting age population in terms of ethnicity. Thus, unlike Mr Maxwell, I regard the impact of demographic change as going in the other direction.
The Indian population by virtue of migration vis-à-vis Africans, has suffered a marked reduction. As such, the Indian numbers are not on the side of the PPP, and that figure could be below 40%. Therefore, for the PPP to obtain a significant part of Indian votes the only option would be to play up more than ever the Indian race card in many different ways, including both in public and bottom house campaign meetings.
Of course not all Indians will vote for the PPP; say an average of 25% do, where would the remaining 25% come from? The stakes have become very high for the PPP, so the population, especially the coalition team, has to be extra vigilant in their campaigns.