Picture Source: https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-who-leaked-data-better-how-the-bjp-and-congress-have-launched-an-all-out-attack-against-each-other-2597871
In their paper titled Political Competition, Partisanship and Interpersonal Trust in Electoral Democracies, Carlin and Love state “sometimes these cleavages and identities represent deep social divisions and even bloody histories.” These refers to splits in demographics, a fissure in the country and its people. An example of this is the oligopoly of political parties in the Republic of India. There are two main parties, the Indian National Congress and the Bhartiya Janta Party, better known as the BJP.
To me, these two parties provide the perfect example of the representations of social divisions and bloody histories that Carlin and Love are talking about in their paper. Congress is a nationalist party that has been around since the British rule of India; they were also the first government of free India. Considering the bloody history through which the Congress party was formed, it makes sense why many Indians formed an allegiance to the political party and its ideologies, and what it once stood for. The BJP on the other hand, is founded on Hindu policies and is known for being pro-Hindu state; they are currently the ones in power. The BJP government, being predominantly Hindu, shows favour to those practice the same religion thus indicting a social divide. These cleavages can legitimate intergroup hostility in the name of competition.
Looking at the earlier sections of this paper, politics is similar to business in the sense where politicians prey upon citizen ideologies and convince them to “buy” into their dream of what the country should me. In the myths of capitalism paper, Jonathan Tepper talks about the lack of competition and how consumers have no real choice in the market. I think this is similar to the political climate in many democratic nations. Despite elections “empowering citizens” (Carlin, and Love) to choose their own government, there is indeed a monopoly, in cases like the USA, or as aforementioned India, where ‘consumers’ really only have one of the two choices, eg. Democrat v. Republican, Congress v. BJP.