I hate to admit it but my political judgment is depressingly flawed. Out of the four times I've voted in the Karnataka assembly elections I've either voted for the losing party but ended up approving the winner or picked the winning party but regretted it sorely. Let me explain. In 1999, I thought it would be a good idea if the center and the state had the same parties in power, and so I picked BJP for the state, but congress won that year. S M Krishna turned out to be, in my opinion, the best chief minister we've had in the recent past. I voted Congress in 2004, fairly confident that Krishna would come back to a second term with a full majority but instead we were stuck with a listless Dharam Singh for the next two years. In 2006, I voted Congress again, but this time Kumaraswamy was elected CM. I was sure things would go awfully wrong, but he turned out to be a surprisingly efficient leader.
In the next election I was wrong on two fronts. Firstly, I was swayed by the popular sympathy-towards-the-victim sentiment that brought BJP so many seats. More embarrassingly, I forecast Yeddyurappa to be the statesman-like leader that we longed for. Over 5 long years he made us all regret our judgment every single day.
This time I voted for Congress again and they won. I'm actually hopeful about Mr. Siddaramaiah. I'm not sure how he'll deal with the mining lobbies, and I'm certain he won't have the leeway to reverse any of the badly thought-out populist policies, but there's one thing I'm hoping he will do. Yeddy had the audacity to allocate tax-payer funds to religious institutions of his choice and he had let right wingnuts feel protected when they went about imposing their warped moral codes. Siddaramaiah, on the other hand, is vocally atheist - the second one we've had in our state. I hope he will bring back some sanity to the religious discourse around here. On every other front, given how wrong I've been in the past, I'm already prepared to be disillusioned.