65 percent favor single-party gov't

Published 21.05.2015 21:34
Updated 22.05.2015 00:05

In every election in Turkey, the public gives a particular message to competing political parties. On the eve of the June 7 general elections, electoral studies have still not arrived at a clear prediction, but the general message of the Turkish electorate has gradually become visible to all political parties.

According to electoral surveys, the distribution of votes to the major political parties appears, with margins of error, to favor the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) with 45 percent, then the Republican People's Party (CHP) with 26 percent, followed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) with 16 percent and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) with 9 to10 percent. With these numbers, the AK Party's estimated voting rate threatens the possibility of a one-party government.

Two options manifest themselves clearly before the electorate. While the first option is a one-party government, the second is the possibility of a coalition government to be composed of three political parties. However, the nationalist MHP and the Kurdish nationalist HDP could not easily join forces, as their political perspectives are diametrically opposed.

It is interesting that the overwhelming majority of the electorate voting for opposition parties do not trust them with running the state. Indeed, in response to our research question: "Do you believe that the political party you voted for can administer the economy well?" 80 percent of interviewees who voted for the opposition parties gave a negative answer.

Turkey's electorate endeavors to give a clear message with three pillars. First, 65 percent of the electorate wants a one-party government; second, the overwhelming majority of the electorate believes that the opposition parties cannot administer the economy well, and third, due to the promises made by those political parties concerning retirement pensions and the like, the electorate also leans toward the opposition. Yet, as they see, in general, with no true alternative to the AK Party government, the electorate feels both hesitant and irresolute.

By relying on my long experience as a political researcher, I propose that the main message of the electorate is that although the overwhelming majority still wishes for the continuation of the AK Party government, they do not want to provide total support for the ruling party by granting them a voting rate around 48 percent. I believe that the electorate wants to give a clear message to the government: "Carry on your politics and do not let the country fall into coalitions and political chaos, but do not forget about our concerns, either."

Today, the electorate appears confident about the state's administration and sees no possibility of a crisis in the near future. State investments made by the AK Party government have largely succeeded in the fields of education, health, and transportation. In a similar vein, no great restrictions appear in the field of democracy, either. Through such a perception of the administration of the state, the electorate tends toward their individual demands.

When an economic crisis appears on the horizon, the electorate looks in general for an economic savior. But when the economy is stable, voters lean toward focusing on their individual problems. The latter case constitutes the general framework of the upcoming general elections. The electorate, which wants the continuation of AK Party political rule, also wants the government to remember the individual situation of the unemployed and retired people, low-income families and agricultural laborers.

Recently, positive economic developments have occurred in succession. Foreign currency rates are falling, financial input continues to flow toward the internal stock market and purchases and sales have already begun in the real estate market. In Turkey's world of capital, the predominant perception is that the AK Party's political rule will continue after the upcoming elections.

In short, the electorate would like to give a clear message to the ruling party: "Despite the ongoing political stability and 13 years of service and investments, do not turn a deaf ear to our problems and demands."

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