The argument goes - Elections should be fought over primarily issues of "Development" (Vikas)
But this view is problematic
Religion and Ireland were the major issues that dominated the Parliament in UK throughout 19th century
"In modern times,the great issues have been economic and social. But in those days (19th cen), they were religious and constitutional"
"The first parliament in which economic issues were dominant was that of 1900"
"Despite Peel's budgets and the struggle over corn laws, even the parliament of 1841 was more concerned with religion than economics"
The Conservatives were strongly opposed
In Blake's words, this was a religious issue linked to a constitutional question of how to deal with Ireland
While the Conservatives felt that weakening the Protestant establishment (as represented by the Church of Ireland) would weaken the Union
How do we preserve the Indian Union? By pandering to regional aspirations and egos? Or by enforcing a stronger more robust "national" culture?
As we can see, the politics of 1840s were also about similar debates
10 years later there was yet another religious issue that was key in the 1846 election - the Maynooth Grant
Until then Roman Catholic Church members could not sit in the UK parliament
This meant that the first Jewish MP to be elected - Lionel de Rotschild in 1847, could not take office till 1858 - when the Jewish relief Act was passed
Govt was hardly obligated to ensure "growth"
The real issues that interested and animated politics were religious and constitutional
How to preserve the Union with Ireland?
And they became even more important after the great Liberal victory of 1906 following which many welfare schemes were instituted
This is what politics is about...About debating what constitutes a "Good life".
Politics is not merely about "Vikaas"