The big spender wins again.


The Hindu, one of South India's most popular newspapers, reports that the Congress ended up spending Rs. 125,43,33,247 (or $27.9 million using exchange rate calculation) on the general election held earlier this year. This is the highest any party has ever spent (I adjusted for inflation and checked... its true) on an election campaign.

That kind of money is huge... the story goes on to list out the various cost breakups, and reading about these wastages just becomes a more disconcerting ordeal.

While few argue the almost unitary correlation between high spending and election results, I'm beginning to have my doubts on Democracy:

1. It costs too much.
2. The money comes from sources that are too few in number.
3. Refer to point 1.
4. Refer to point 3.

What worries me is that this trend is especially dangerous for a country like India, where such large amounts have far higher utility spent elsewhere. Using my own 'Big Mac' adjustment, I reckon that the money spent could well be worth $97 million dollars (A Big Mac costs about 54 rupees in India, and about $4 in the US). That is *still* one HECK of a lot of money.

You can read the original story here.

Yazad was kind enough to point out that I had got my Big Mac prices wrong. He makes the point that its not a Big Mac but a 'Maharaja Mac', and costs Rs. 54 Rupees not Rs. 20. I have corrected the values in the post. He also makes another point in his comment which I will probably write about in a seperate post. I still stick with the "one heck of a lot of money" statement though :-)


Democracy aint cheap, but well, neither is tyranny.

Your Mac ratio is very faulty. There is no Big Mac in India. The burger that comes closest is the Maharaja Mac (chicken burger) and that costs Rs. 54, not Rs. 20. Which would change your $251 million to around $97 million. Now with a population of 1 billion, that would be 10 cents per person in India.

I know India is poor and the democracy we have has many flaws. But hey, at 50 cents, we could afford it.

(50 cents coz there are other parties apart from the Indian National Congress -- I'm just multiplying the figure 5 times -- no statistical significance except for the fact that I doubt the multiplier would be > 5)

I live in Bombay and eat at Mac's often enough to know the prices. And it's a shame that we Indians are deprived of the gourmet delicacies that Mac offers. ;-)

your Big Mac rate is wrong, Big Mac rate in US in the year 2004 was never 4$ it was just around 3$.
In the month of MAy 2004 it was $ 2.90 and in Dec 2004 it was $3.0 come on man u have many faults.
i am from Hyderabad and i am a MBA Student in university of ballarat at NZIC in New Zealand


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This page contains a single entry by published on November 28, 2004 8:38 AM.

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