IntroductionOperation Dharmic Vote
For GE17, Dharma Sewa Purvapaksha (DSP) is running a follow-on political campaign from GE15, in the interests of the Dharmic communities made up of Hindus, Jains
Operation Dharmic Vote is a long-term project where we need to engage with and evaluate very diverse Dharmic communities in different ways. Please see the link to our GE15 table of some basic statistics. We have used two criteria in compiling this list. First, ODV has picked all constituencies that have approx. 1,000 Dharmic households which approximate to 4,000 residents. Second where the majority of the sitting MP is less than 900 and where we have sufficient number to potentially have some influence. Predicting political outcomes is complex. So, we approach this endeavor as a long-term project and with a degree of caution while being open to learning.
Operation Dharmic Vote sets out to address the lack of policy & political influence faced by the Dharmic community
- Confusion between policy & politics. Few if any Dharmic
organisationshave any capacity to analyseor articulate policy impacts on themselves or their members. They have also confused policy with party politics. As charitable or voluntary organisations, they need to be neutral in party political terms. But on policy matters, they must have the capacity to make informed impact assessments and communicate these to their members to act upon.
- Lack of voter power. This is not because we are small in number but we largely fail to use our democratic rights to vote in sufficient numbers or strategically. The Jewish community is far smaller, and yet has far more policy and political influence.
End of Blind loyalty to ANY party.
Traditionally Dharmic communities have voted for the Labour Party. This is changing largely because the Labour Party has taken the Dharmic vote for granted. The community has voted for Labour for over 50 years without demanding much. However, The Labour Party has over the years pursued policies that have actually been at the detriment of the Dharmic community. The caste legislation is but one such example. There are many other examples both at local and national levels.
However, Labour is not the ONLY political party that takes the Dharmic voter for granted. The Conservatives and the LibDems too have treated the Dharmic voter with little more than “tea & samosas”. All the political parties “sing” excellent lullabies about how good, productive and law-abiding the Dharmic community is. But that is the ONLY extent of any meaningful engagement.
ODV’s primary objective in any election is to inform the Dharmic voter of key policy impacts of what the political parties set out in their manifestos and which of the candidates would potentially respond positively to the local Dharmic issues. ODV will “recommend/promote” different political party candidates based on either on their track record or the commitments/feedbacks they provide ODV on key issues.