A week’s a long time in politics. And four years?

Ramesh Ramanathan in Mint:

“When S.M. Krishna lost the Karnataka state elections in 2004, most pundits suggested that this was due to his focus on the urban voter….

“What a difference four years can make. As we turn into the home stretch of the 2008 elections, urban development and urban politics have come out of the shadows to play a prime role in electoral fortunes.

“Credit the Election Commission (EC) and its delimitation work. Karnataka is the first state to go to polls after the electoral map was redrawn based on the 2001 census, and the urban shift is massive. Bangalore has gone from 16 seats in the 2004 state assembly to 28 seats this time, a jump of 75% in political representation. This shift is only the beginning of an irreversible trend. Karnataka was 34% urban in 2001 and—going by national trends—will see decadal urban growth of at least 30% and urban share increase of 1.5% every year.

“The implication? Demographics drive politics. Urban areas will act as relentless political magnets, drawing power from the rural areas, as people migrate from farm to factory and service-based livelihoods. Karnataka is just the first domino—we will see this in every election to follow, to a lesser or greater degree.”

Read the full article: On political climate change