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What was it like attending the 2016 GOP convention?
This question is worth a short book, so if there’s a character limit to Quora answers I may learn what it is. I wrote a thank you to the city of Cleveland at What is it like being in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention? This answer refers to the political event itself.I have been inactive for a while on Quora because my almost exclusive role here has been to support Republican candidates and officeholders. I’ve done this happily, without any strain or embarrassment, because I think they are almost uniformly good public servants. I’ve spoken out against idiotic comments made by a few, and they have (not because of me) tended to be losing candidates. But having written, like so many other better informed and more famous writers, that Donald Trump could never be nominated, I have had to stand by, mute, while I watched this process play out. A week ago, it was still possible that Donald Trump would not be the nominee of the Republican Party. But now he is the official nominee, and I am ready to talk, though I am sad to have to write what I say below.Conventions are designed to let the winner unite the party.The candidates who didn’t win are expected to endorse the winner, and delegates are supposed to come on board, no matter who they supported earlier. A failure to do this often dooms the candidate. Donald Trump had, up to the convention, failed to close the deal with many Republican insiders as well as other voters. He had won more votes than any other Republican candidate, but had spawned a #nevertrump movement that was strong and engaged. Elected Republican officials stayed away in droves, with transparently sarcastic excuses. See Senator to Skip GOP Convention, Watch ‘Dumpster Fires’ Instead. The convention was where the RNC and the Trump campaign would learn what part of the #nevertrump movement was strong enough to defeat him outright, what part was #nevertrump only until he was nominated, and what part would walk away from his candidacy if he was nominated.The RNC and the Trump campaign functioned as one unit during the convention, and my perception is that the Trump campaign, understaffed and with little experience, ended up letting the RNC manage the convention. Although the “establishment” RNC seemed almost united in its horror at a Trump nomination last winter, they fear Clinton more than Trump on the basis of political philosophy, and they exist to work for the election of whoever wins the nomination. It’s their job. Their raison d’etre.I was elected an Alternate Delegate in the DC primary convention on Saturday, March 12. An amazing number of Republicans from DC wanted to go to Cleveland as delegates, and some spent significant sums of money to print brochures and stickers, etc. With 165 candidates vying for 32 slots from DC, I failed to make the top 16, and finished in 33rd place, one vote short of making the delegation as an alternate. The top 16 people became the official delegates to the convention for the District of Columbia. The next 16 became alternate delegates who would step in if delegates could not serve. All 32, plus our three representatives on the RNC (our Chair, and an elected Committeewoman and Committeeman), made hotel reservations and travel plans for Cleveland. On that same day, Republicans in DC voted 37.3% for Rubio, 35.5% for Kasich, 13.8% for Trump, and 12.4% for Cruz. According to our rules, that meant we’d send ten delegates to Cleveland pledged to vote for Marco Rubio and nine pledged to John Kasich. (I wasn’t surprised when four or five withdrawals from the delegation led to me and several others being named as Alternates after all.)Of course the primary season continued, with Rubio dropping out just four days later, and Kasich and Cruz holding on until the night of the Indiana primary. Our DC delegation had several meetings, and the delegates chosen expressed concern that if only Trump’s name was in nomination, they would have no chance to go on record as opposing him. Only one of the 19 expressed an interest in voting for Trump on the first ballot.The week before the Convention convenes is when the work gets done, in Committee.By June 7, a total of 2,470 delegates had been selected by each of the fifty states, plus the District and five territories. A body that size can’t deliberate on arcane points, no matter how important they are, so most of the work of the convention is done before the vast majority of delegates even arrives. In the week before the convention, the committees on Rules, Platform, Credentials and Arrangements all met. At this point the Republican National Committee was in many ways no longer in control; these committees were made up of convention delegates chosen by each state delegation. However, the Chairs of each Committee had been named by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.Free the Delegates and DelegatesUnboundA substantial number of Republican activists still hoped that there was some way to prevent the nomination of Trump. Two separate groups formed to argue that delegates to the convention could already either vote any way they wanted, or that the Rules should be changed to allow them to do that. I signed up for both these groups.A Platform for social conservativesI arrived in Cleveland on the evening of Tuesday, July 12. The Platform Committee had already finalized its draft for presentation to the full convention the following week. My dear friend Rachel Hoff had made a valiant effort, along with several others, to beat back efforts to include hard line language on social planks. She had made it plain that she is a lesbian, and made an impassioned plea to the committee, not even to simply recognize her constitutional right to marry, but to delete language that is sure to offend and injure. This was particularly courageous of Rachel, because her area of expertise is national defense and foreign policy and she’d probably rather be thought of as a policy expert than someone who focuses on social issues. I look forward to a convention where she will write the Platform language on those issues, and who she sleeps with will be irrelevant.The Trump campaign seemed to have no interest (and perhaps no competence) to shape the Platform into a document he could run on. That’s no problem for Trump; he’ll happily disavow the Platform completely, and leave candidates down-ballot to explain why it seems to recognize very little of the 2016 legal and political reality around these issues. My own selfish reaction was to realize that, after years defending the 2012 Platform here on Quora, and pointing out that the 2008 Platform had been less harsh, I would be now forced to explain this much more strident language, which I personally oppose. I know many people who support this language, and I respect their right to have such a point of view, and even to use the Rules to pass it fair and square. It was the majority point of view on the Committee this year. I don’t think it’s politically intelligent to insert that language, but the people who did are evidently more interested in making their views known than winning elections. I was glad that Rachel was there to argue for better language. She spoke forcefully and became something of a media celebrity during this convention.Les regles du jeu: The Rules of the game are everythingThe 2012 Republican Party Rules, adopted four years ago in Tampa, governed the primary season schedule in 2016, along with the allocation of delegates among the states. Each state set its own rules, within boundaries set by the RNC. The 2012 RNC Rules (I will often capitalize Rules, as well as Platform, because they are committee names, and because I want to) called for some states to be “winner take all” states, where the candidate who finished ahead of the others was awarded 100% of the delegates. This was done to help slingshot the frontrunner into a comfortable lead where he or she could begin to concentrate on defeating the Democratic nominee rather than fellow Republicans. These Rules were engineered to correct one of the perceived problems that contributed to Romney’s defeat in 2012; he was out of money and badly wounded before he even won the nomination. It was only in 2012 that the rule was passed requiring majorities of eight states to support a candidate before they could be placed into nomination. When those rules were passed by the 2012 convention, they undoubtedly pictured a qualified candidate winning primaries with fifty or sixty percent of the vote, with three or four reasonable opponents who would bow out and endorse him or her. Unfortunately, fourteen qualified candidates and a trio of people who had never held office at all ran this year. In a field that size, you can sometimes take 100% of the delegates in a state where you got 25% or 30% of the popular vote. Trump often said that the Rules were rigged, and in a sense, they were. His proportion of pledged delegates was greater than his proportion of voters, so the Rules not only worked in his favor, they probably were a necessary ingredient to a victory that didn’t require a majority of votes cast.In Cleveland, the Party would adopt new Rules, some of which would govern the convention and some of which would set up the conduct of the 2020 primaries. For some, this represented an opportunity to change the outcome of the 2016 convention. But as time wore on, it became clear that the outcome in 2016 was set, and the emphasis was on setting up Rules for the 2020 cycle that would work better than the ones that led to 2016’s result.The Rules Committee is made up of two representatives from each state, the District, and five territories. This is what the meeting looked like Wednesday from where non-members of the committee sat. Note that it’s not possible to flank them and see what committee members see. Media was stationed behind the Chairmen, and staff to the far side.Wednesday morning the Rules Committee began its work. It was well understood by all that there would be some effort by Committee Members associated with Free the Delegates and Delegates Unbound to allow delegates to “vote their conscience”, and nobody knew what would happen if that passed. Almost everyone knew that if delegates were free to vote their conscience, Donald Trump would not be nominated. Many felt there was a lot of risk whether this effort was successful or not, and if it had been passed, in my judgment the delegates almost certainly would have voted to nominate Trump anyway, against their own conscience but out of respect for the voters who had cast votes last winter. It was abundantly clear that no other candidate had put out feelers or done any work to organize any effort at all to defeat Trump at the convention. Trump is, after all twenty years older than several of the candidates who bowed out, and they know they have four, five or six elections ahead of them. Consensus began to emerge that the Rules fight was really about that portion of the Rules that would govern the 2020 race, and a more general but strongly-felt effort to empower the delegates to the convention in the future.The RNC, however, was nervous, apparently, about the possibility of the 2016 convention getting out of their control. They evidently saw even the efforts to reform the Rules that didn’t affect Trump as a threat to their effort to create an image of harmony and unity among the delegates. Dissension at any level needed to be crushed. There were dozens of amendments presented and debated. But this is what the committee members could see:There was a sign being held up for each amendment that read “Trump/RNC NO” (or in a few cases, “Trump/RNC Yes”). Members of the committee had been lobbied and whipped (not as painful as it sounds - in this context it means carefully counted), and warned that any changes would lead to chaos, and were the work of Ted Cruz’s team, and therefore must be quashed. There was still significant dissension, however, and through some terrible miracle, the only printer in Cleveland broke down. The Committee was asked to adjourn for hours while the printer was being repaired. To be clear, nobody got bribed, and nobody got physically threatened, to my knowledge.This first person account was posted publicly by one member of the committee: (I have edited it where there are ellipses…)“Yesterday was a long day on Convention Rules Committee. I was part of a concerted effort by the Trump Team, to keep most of the existing rules intact and to work against the introduction of the Conscience Clause. Our meeting began shortly after 8am... We then had a short break and upon return and resuming business around 9am, we went into another recess because of "printer difficulties" and would reconvene at 10am. Shortly after 10am, we once again reconvened, but were told that the "technical difficulties" were ongoing and we would be in recess until 1pm. Nobody was buying the narrative of technical difficulties. What was actually occurring was a behind-the-scenes meeting between handlers of Cruz and other former candidates, Reince Priebus and the Trump handlers to negotiate rules changes…“The strategy for the remainder of the meeting was to attempt to vote as a majority against any remaining rules amendments and to stay the course and complete the meeting, however long that would take. This tactic worked in our favor for two reasons. First, the constant defeat of every rules amendment had a demoralizing effect on our opposition, those wanting to offer the Conscience Clause and unbind delegates. Second, by our staying to complete our work late last night, rather than end at 6pm and reconvene today, wore down our opposition and didn't give them any opportunity to regroup. The Conscience Clause was defeated. There will be no unbinding of the delegates. We adjourned just before midnight.“What I did yesterday on the Convention Rules Committee did not make some of my friends happy. I understand. I'm not happy with some of my votes yesterday…”This strategy worked, and the majority eventually pressured the minority to withdraw further amendments. It was obvious that no amendment would be passed, and the “conscience clause” faction gave up. Just withdrawing proposed amendments still took until 11:30pm. This was indeed a crushing victory by the RNC/Trump team, and they deserve kudos for their ability to maintain control. Again, no threats, no bribes - this is the way it is supposed to work. However, in their zeal to produce unity, I believe the RNC miscalculated, overstepped, and created bad feelings that will not soon go away. But on that score, they had just started…A more modest goalOver the weekend, with no alternative candidate, the minority retrenched and set one goal. FreeTheDelegates and DelegatesUnbound finally joined to collect signatures on simple petitions calling for a roll call vote on the Rules, which would be presented to the full convention on Monday, the first day of the actual convention. Delegates were arriving Sunday night, and the vote would take place Monday night, so there was very little time to make this happen. Rejection of the Rules report on the convention floor would have led to some unpredictable results; the Rules would have to be amended by the Committee and resubmitted for another vote. There was actually little or no effort to organize what would happen in that case, because nobody expected it to come to pass. To get a roll call vote rather than a voice vote requires written petitions with a majority of signatures from seven states. Many states had dedicated volunteers available to work on this effort, but smaller states were targeted to increase the likelihood of success. I helped gather signatures from eleven of the nineteen DC delegates. Texas and other large states generally fell short, in the limited time available, to collect signatures, but Virginia rounded up a majority.Showtime - The Convention beginsThe Monday session began in the afternoon, and our effort to have a roll call vote on the Rules seemed to be going well. A few of us loitered in the hallway of the arena near the Microsoft booth, while various states brought petitions to us. Soon we were surrounded by RNC whips with earpieces and yellow hats. (This business of the hats was an interesting subplot. DelegatesUnbound had managed to distribute hundreds of hats to those who wanted a roll call vote. They were very bright neon yellow-green so that everyone could spot the people on our team. Monday at noon, the RNC whips suddenly had identical hats! I’d love to find out some day who told the RNC about the hats. Perhaps reporters who saw the hats passed this on, not purposely taking sides but inadvertently helping the RNC. Below, this friendly woman’s face is obscured to protect those who thought they were doing the right thing:)Once we had obtained a majority of signatures on each of three original copies, the game began. We had three originals in case anyone was accidentally jostled and “dropped” theirs. We had additional copies made for the media. We released to the media the fact that we had the requisite signatures. The petitions went into stacks of yellow envelopes, and couriers were sent out in every direction with the real petitions, the backup petitions, the backup backup petitions, and decoy envelopes. All of this was recorded and posted online. This bit of drama wasn’t wasted; it was impossible for even a large number of yellow-hat whips to figure out where the petitions were. But they had a big advantage. They knew where the petitions were headed.As expected, we had difficulty filing petitions with the Secretary of the Convention, as required. Life is simple when you are in charge. If the Rules say you have to file your petitions with one person, the Secretary of the Convention, the people in charge play “Hide the Secretary”. In fair meetings, the Chair is at the front of the room. You can make a motion by rising and making the motion. The Convention is run according to House of Representatives Rules that are less familiar to almost everyone than Robert’s Rules. But our alpha team understood this perfectly, and with borrowed credentials that would allow them to get near the Secretary, they set off. It was a diverse group, but our secret weapon was Senator Gordon Humphrey, an elderly but strong and dignified man who repeatedly introduced himself to others simply as “Gordon”. We also had a Texas delegate who was roughly eight feet tall, our media guy, and others chosen to give us the best chance of succeeding. I wasn’t with them. I can’t describe what happened when they came as close as they could, and were denied access by armed guards. I know that through some force of willpower and good manners, our team forced them to accept the packet containing nine states with majorities, and obtained a signed receipt. Each of those states, plus two more, were simultaneously making individual efforts to file duplicates for their state. Unfortunately, of the eleven states that attempted to file petitions, as far as I’m aware, only one got far enough to receive a receipt from an official who promised to forward them to the Secretary. Some day I will see the Secretary, who I’ve known casually for several years, and ask her if she was locked in a cell, or taken out to lunch, or what. I can’t believe it made her feel very good about her role, to be in charge of receiving petitions, and purposely make it virtually impossible for anyone to file any petition.So the media, alerted to this drama, gathered around. Loud music played on the floor. And played, and played. Bad Rush cover bands took the stage and played some more. The delay stretched over an hour, and then two. What was happening was that the RNC was finding signatories to the petitions and asking them to “unsign”. Once again, no bribes, no physical threats. Just people like and including Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign manager, personally lobbying delegates. This is what he was hired for. He’s good, and has had this job before. He’s a lobbyist, and probably has as much skill as any human at sizing up someone, engaging them in polite conversation, assessing their weak points, and going for the kill. Fair enough. This is politics. After an almost interminable delay, they flipped an additional DC delegate in his twenties, in addition to the one who had changed her mind earlier. With his recantation, they had brought DC down to nine out of nineteen, and DC was no longer one of the seven with a majority. All states were whipped, and two other states had met similar lobbying efforts and caved. The two states that had failed to get their petitions into our joint packet were ignored.Convention Chair Paul Ryan and Chairman Reince Priebus must have known that they wanted to be nowhere near the gavel during what was about to happen. Representative Steve Womack of Arkansas must have pulled the short straw that day, and he came to the stage as the Chair, and called for a voice vote on the Rules. He called for a voice vote, delegates on both sides yelled loudly, and he announced that the Rules as presented by the Rules Committee were adopted, “without objection”. Gavel. Womack retreated for several minutes, inexplicably but obviously unprepared and rattled. He returned and asked for another voice vote, de novo, and after a repeat of the previous result, recognized the Chair of the Utah delegation, who requested a Roll Call vote. Womack then announced that nine states had called for a roll call vote, but three states had withdrawn their petitions (meaning, more precisely, they found the necessary number of delegates who they were able to convince to “unsign”), and the motion for a roll call vote therefore fails. He repeatedly asks (accidently in to the live mic) whether it’s “time for the script”. Eventually, he recognizes a motion to adopt the Platform. In other words, the fight over the Rules is over.Rules are important. This is the lesson. In America, at this level, there is no physical coercion. People normally play by the rules. The RNC did not play fair, and they embarrassed themselves before the world. We had no time between Sunday night and Monday noon to train the signers, but if we had, we could have played the same game, and instructed all the signers to get the hell off the floor, take off name tags, and not answer their phones. But truth be told, there was no candidate to inspire this effort. I was involved directly in these efforts to get a roll call vote, and I saw lots of intelligent, serious people work hard to see it through. But we didn’t have dozens of paid whips on the floor to lobby and we didn’t have control of the gavel. We lost.The Nomination of Donald J. TrumpThe Roll Call of the states to nominate Donald Trump would be the straw that broke the camel’s back for many. DC’s delegation was bound, by the new Rules passed a day earlier, to vote as their voters instructed them, and was forbidden to vote their conscience. (Ironically, one delegate did want to vote for Trump, but the Rules wouldn’t allow that.) This was enormously troubling to the majority of the DC delegation, who had run on March 12 wearing #nevertrump stickers. They had left home telling their families that they would not vote for Trump. But there was a problem. DC Rules state that if only one name is put in nomination, DC’s votes will go to that candidate. This rule went into effect in the fall of 2015 when none of us dreamed what it would mean last week. Our three RNC representatives entered into negotiations with the RNC back in May and June. They came back to the elected group of sixteen delegates and assured them that they would be able to vote for Rubio and Kasich, and the Secretary of the Convention would recognize their votes as cast.That evening, the DC delegation wrongly thought that there would be nominating speeches that would last a couple of hours, and then a roll call vote. The Mayor of DC invited them to a cocktail party some distance away from the arena, to occur while the convention was in session. To the surprise of the DC delegation, the RNC chose to hold the roll call early, before the main “nominating” speeches. Network coverage wasn’t up yet, and perhaps they didn’t want American audiences to watch them execute their plan.The DC Chair received a phone call saying that the roll call would start in twenty minutes. He was instructed to cast all nineteen votes for Trump. He refused. A flurry of calls ensued, with our Chairman holding firm. He and a few other delegates rushed back to the arena and made it to the floor before DC was called. The Secretary announced (before our votes were cast), “DC casts nineteen votes for Donald J. Trump.” Our Chair took the microphone and announced, “Ten votes for Marco Rubio and nine votes for John Kasich.” The Secretary intoned, “Nineteen votes for Donald J. Trump”, and brought down the gavel.FailThe RNC made a dozen powerful enemies with that maneuver against DC, and dozens more among other states. They knew they had a rule at the DC level, but they disregarded the rule they had just adopted the day before. Their task, as they saw it, was to produce the illusion of unity. They failed. They evidently felt that if they allowed any crack in the dam to widen, the dam would break and Trump might very well not be nominated. I think they were wrong; Trump was in control and had more votes than he needed. That’s what constitutes a profound error in political judgment and a breakdown in basic competence, in my opinion. The RNC had only to work with 56 delegations in the weeks leading to the convention, and make certain that Trump was nominated. In the case of DC, Alaska, Utah, etc., if they had made a phone call a week ago and started negotiations, they could have shown respect for the delegates and the voters. As it was, what they did was unnecessary, did not change the outcome, and created a spectacle that will haunt the party for years. In some political battles, you have to use the Credentials Committee to unseat your opponents. That could have been done quietly. If they had notified the DC delegation of their plans, they would have had a dozen or more delegates resign, freeing them to seat Trump supporters. That’s all in the Rules. There were at least two Trump supporters from DC in attendance who weren’t even alternate delegates, and others would have gone along for party unity’s sake. But they embarrassed and humiliated some good and powerful citizens by disregarding the delegation’s vote so baldly. It’s not Stalinist or Ba’athist. It’s incompetence. It’s a failure to do what’s necessary to maintain harmony and still respect the minority. It shows a fear of dissent that is unacceptable to many of us in the Republican Party, and we will continue to fight for rules that lead to better conventions and better nominees. But whatever the Rules may be, we need better leadership that will not force the nation, including children for pete’s sake, to watch a convention where states vote one way and their votes are recorded another way, on the air, for posterity, before all who are watching, including, of course, those who are eager to criticize and ridicule the Party. They robbed our DC delegates of their opportunity to resign before the vote. I wanted our delegates to resign, because as an Alternate Delegate, I would have become an 0fficial, full Delegate. And then I would have resigned. As of today, I have more than a dozen friends who history will say voted for Trump, and they are angry.Thursday, and the balloon dropThe following day, I borrowed one of the plentiful sets of delegate badges left behind by delegates who had either lost any interest in sitting on the floor of the convention, or in some cases had just gone to the airport and left Cleveland. I went down to the floor to hear Peter Thiel, and felt rejuvenated when he was enthusiastically cheered by the delegates of the Republican Convention. They had booed Mitch McConnell; they aren’t a shy bunch. They had voted (in a voice vote, of course, not a roll call) to adopt a platform that has passages I deeply regret and which must be offensive to Thiel himself. But when Peter Thiel said, “I am proud to be gay…”, they cheered as loudly as at any time of the convention.After Thiel spoke, I left the floor. But I have to tell you, conventions are fun. There are lots of good people there. I enjoyed spending time with friends, and made many new ones. I was glad I yielded to temptation and used my credentials to return to the floor for the balloon drop. There’s nothing like being on the floor as the balloons and confetti fall. The balloons were four feet deep on the floor, and there was actually a staff hired to run around with sharp sticks, bursting the balloons so we could leave the arena. I had this experience in prior conventions, and I hope to do it again when I can support the nominee.Still RepublicanI have resigned my office as Vice Chairman of the DC Republican Committee by virtue of the interviews I gave the media that night. Our bylaws (which I helped write) don’t allow members of our central committee (much less officers) to oppose our nominees, and this is how it should be. I have been loyal to the party’s nominees and defended its actions for forty years, and never felt I had to compromise my own standards. I expect to be active in the Republican Party in the future. My GOP is made up of responsible public servants, who, whether you agree with their philosophy of government or not, are dedicated to the welfare of all. My GOP is supported by voters who believe that government spending is not the solution to all problems, and know that free college and free anything is never free of cost, and that it makes no sense for government to aid wealthy people who can pay their own way. We believe in a progressive tax code, and have presided over a vast expansion of programs like SNAP, not because we’re convinced that such programs end poverty, but because we are not guilty of the absurd charge that we don’t care about the welfare of the poor. We aren’t anarchists (though some good friends are), or heartless capitalists, of whom the best example is the fictional Montgomery Burns. We believe government has a role to play in establishing and enforcing laws that protect us all. We hope to build a coalition of voters who are appalled that we have borrowed money from our grandchildren to show generosity to our own generation. I believe that coalition has room for those with a vast array of private ideals, lifestyles, and religious beliefs (or lack of religious beliefs), because those issues should not divide us as a matter of law in a civil society. I reject the notion that opposition to deficit spending is in any way associated with any moral weakness.Johnson/Weld 2016I believe that Gary Johnson is a candidate who is viable in this cycle, as both parties have utterly failed to nominate a strong candidate. He and his running mate were both Republican Governors, and both were re-elected after their first term was over. Many Americans share his economic views and his position on social issues (that is, the position that government has little role in those areas of our life beyond establishing and enforcing fair laws). I’ve written many times before now that a vote for a third-place finisher is wasted. Libertarians sometimes argue that in the long run, it sends a message. I’m not interested in sending a message - I’m interested in winning. If Johnson reaches 15% in the polls, he will be in the debates, and it will be a golden opportunity for him to show Americans desperate for an alternative that he is not a fringe candidate. I am not a Libertarian Party member, and don’t expect I’ll become one. That party has promoted views on foreign policy in particular that I disagree with. But a President Gary Johnson could work with both parties, and knows that he is not running for Emperor.If Johnson doesn’t win 270 electoral votes, he could still win enough to deny either Clinton or Trump that number. Should that happen, the next President will be elected in the House of Representatives, with each state casting one vote. That body has 33 delegations with a majority of Republicans, 3 with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, and 14 with a majority of Democrats. The pressure on those Members would be terrific, and I don’t know what they would decide to do. Of course it depends on the conduct of the three viable candidates and the votes they receive. But I sort of like the odds of that body choosing a President I can support and be proud of.If you made it this far, please read my great friend Jeffrey Larson’s answer to What was it like to be at the Republican National Convention during Ted Cruz's speech?
Why aren't cell phones powered by regular batteries?
If, by regular batteries, you mean standard replaceable primary batteries, there are oh-so-many reasons.So here are some smartphone dimensions. This one’s actually a few years old, and perhaps the average 2019–2020 smartphone is another millimeter thick. They have been growing a bit to allow for better cameras and larger batteries.So here’s the thinnest standard battery, the AAA battery. The official IEC designation of the Alkaline version, the one you can buy in any store, is LR03. It should be pretty obvious here that a 10.5mm battery is not going to fit into a 7–9mm smartphone. So here’s your first big reason.The removable battery for my old LG V10 was rated at 3000mAh, and speced a nominal battery voltage of 3.85V. You’ll probably find it specified somewhere that a nominal AAA battery capacity is 1000mAh… but that’s very misleading.So you need three of them, right? Wrong! The nominal output voltage of an Energizer Max AAA Alkaline battery is 1.5V. So let’s convert to an equivalent power rating. So since P = E * I, we have 1.5Wh per battery. The old LG V10 battery is rated at 11.6Wh. So we’d need eight of these to match the performance of one Li-ion battery, right? If we put the batteries in a series-parallel configuration, we get 3V in each of four series pair, and parallel those to have a higher capacity 3V battery pack. It’s not quite a match to the Li-ion pack in voltage, but it’s close. Nominally, you’ll have a 3V pack rated at 4000mAh.This speaks to energy density. The Alkaline primary battery is just a weak battery compared to any Lithium battery of the same size. Each Energizer Max AAA cell is 20,793mm³, so the minimum battery pack volume is 166,341mm³. That’s actually larger than the entire LG V10 phone, at 108,844mm³!Note: in today’s reality, this wouldn’t work at all. All modern phones are designed around using Li-ion cells, and they’re pretty much discharged at 3V. So your phone would probably not power up with a 3V Alkaline pack, and as we’ll see, even if it did come up, as soon as it was working hard, it would shut down anyway. However, had it been at all reasonable to use off-the-shelf standard primary batteries in a phone, they would have not been designed with the 3V cutoff. So I’m working around that to make this a bit more interesting… and avoid needing 12 batteries!And I have even worse news for you. Have you ever felt your phone get warm? That heat is waste heat from high current activity — calling at the edge of coverage, playing video games, etc. Maybe not typical use, but something a phone does, and a phone battery must support.So my old phone used to run down by lunchtime at my old office. So in about three hours… mostly due to the fact a cell tower for AT&T was almost not reachable (when I switched to T-Mobile, I had 40–60% at the end of the day… a quick of that office locale, not a general complaint about AT&T). So the radio was always operating at full power, and probably retrying packets over and over again. The discharge is about 1000mA continuous draw… converting to power, that’s 3.87W constant discharge.Splitting that drain four ways in my battery pack, I’m pulling 0.969W from each of the four series battery pair, or a relatively constant 645mA. That’s actually off-the-chart, and I’m not certain the batteries can provide that much current. But let’s estimate that they can. Pro-rating that based on the chart, we see about 350mAh capacity at that current load.Where did that other 650mAh go? It’s warming your battery pack! The internal resistance of an Alkaline battery is terrible, and Ohm’s Law must be obeyed. That power is lost in heat. My 3 hours of awful cellphone coverage become barely an hour on the battery pack.But it’s not even that! Because the power lost in the battery is actually measurable as a loss in voltage out of the battery, because the internal resistance will be dropping the voltage in order to consume that power. On the Li-ion battery it’s no big deal, given the 100mΩ or so internal resistance, the 3.85V battery is dropping 0.1V during that load, meaning I actually see 3.75V going into the phone’s power manager, and the 3.87Wh is actually 3.75Wh delivered. But the very high internal resistance in the Alkaline batteries means you’re losing more than half your voltage to heat. You’ll be lucky to get 1V out of each series pair, and 1V isn’t going to be enough to even power the phone. If it were, the phone would suddenly demand 3x as much current to make up for the voltage loss. Just not happening here. And in fact, since the current issues would not change, the 12-battery pack I was previously avoiding isn’t going to help, either.And sure, this is worst case, and we’d never actualy get there. The battery pack simply would drop to below the 3V. The phone would brown out, it simply wouldn’t run. This is the reason that fairly low capacity NiMh batteries — direct replacements for Alkaline batteries, even at 1.2V vs. 1.5V, do far better in higher current applications than the alkaline primary cells that everyone uses. And sure, eight NiMh batteries would do better, though at 2.4V for the series pair, I’d want nine cells organized at three series sets in parallell, delivering 3.6V nominal. You can find 600–800mAh NiMh AAA batteries, which means the 9-cell pack delivers 6.4–8.6Ahr capacity. That would probably actually work, even with the gigantic battery pack you’re lugging around, but it’s still no match for the Li-ion battery.Next, consider the effect of 6.1 billion users swapping in a new AA cell every day. Even if your phone could live on a single AA cell per day on average, that’s now 2.2 trillion additional batteries in the trash every year. No one wants that.And we now know it would be at least 12 batteries for a day’s run, since the 9-battery scenario will absolutely fail. So ok, if we only had alkaline primary batteries, we probably would not have even bothered with smartphones. Li-ion has been an enabling technology for all kinds of things that either didn’t exist, or existed as kind of crappy niche products, or the occasional crappy mainstream product. But it doesn’t matter — there’s no way we’re tossing out an additional 20-27 trillion batteries every year.You might also notice that digital cameras, laptop computers, cameras, electric vehicles, and a bunch of other battery-operated things don’t typically use the standard consumer battery types.
In what way is PM Narendra modi different from the previous PMs?
In interviews, Modi has described visiting Hindu ashrams founded by Swami Vivekananda: the Belur Math near Kolkata, followed by the Advaita Ashrama in Almora and the Ramakrishna Mission in Rajkot. Modi remained only a short time at each, since he lacked the required college education.Vivekananda has been described as a large influence in Modi's life.In the early summer of 1968, Modi reached the Belur Math but was turned away, after which Modi wandered through Calcutta, West Bengal and Assam, stopping in Siliguri and Guwahati.Modi then went to the Ramakrishna Ashram in Almora, where he was again rejected, before travelling back to Gujarat via Delhi and Rajasthan in 1968–69.Sometime in late 1969 or early 1970, Modi returned to Vadnagar for a brief visit before leaving again for Ahmedabad.There, Modi lived with his uncle, working in the latter's canteen at the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation.In Ahmedabad, Modi renewed his acquaintance with Inamdar, who was based at the Hedgewar Bhavan (RSS headquarters) in the city.After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, he stopped working for his uncle and became a full-time pracharak (campaigner) for the RSS,working under Inamdar.Shortly before the war, Modi took part in a non-violent protest against the Indian government in New Delhi, for which he was arrested; this has been cited as a reason for Inamdar electing to mentor him.Many years later Modi would co-author a biography of Inamdar, published in 2001.In 1978 Modi received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from School of Open Learning at University of Delhi, graduating with a third class.Five years later, in 1983, he received a Master of Arts degree in political science from Gujarat University, as an external distance learning student.Early political careerIn June 1975, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency in India which lasted until 1977. During this period, known as "The Emergency", many of her political opponents were jailed and opposition groups were banned.Modi was appointed general secretary of the "Gujarat Lok Sangharsh Samiti", an RSS committee coordinating opposition to the Emergency in Gujarat. Shortly afterwards, the RSS was banned.Modi was forced to go underground in Gujarat and frequently travelled in disguise to avoid arrest. He became involved in printing pamphlets opposing the government, sending them to Delhi and organising demonstrations.Modi was also involved with creating a network of safe houses for individuals wanted by the government, and in raising funds for political refugees and activists.During this period, Modi wrote a book in Gujarati, Sangharsh Ma Gujarat (In The Struggles of Gujarat), describing events during the Emergency.Among the people he met in this role was trade unionist and socialist activist George Fernandes, as well as several other national political figures.In his travels during the Emergency, Modi was often forced to move in disguise, once dressing as a monk, and once as a Sikh.Modi became an RSS sambhag pracharak (regional organiser) in 1978, overseeing RSS activities in the areas of Surat and Vadodara, and in 1979 he went to work for the RSS in Delhi, where he was put to work researching and writing the RSS's version of the history of the Emergency.He returned to Gujarat a short while later, and was assigned by the RSS to the BJP in 1985.In 1987 Modi helped organise the BJP's campaign in the Ahmedabad municipal election, which the BJP won comfortably; Modi's planning has been described as the reason for that result by biographers.After L. K. Advani became president of the BJP in 1986, the RSS decided to place its members in important positions within the BJP; Modi's work during the Ahmedabad election led to his selection for this role, and Modi was elected organising secretary of the BJP's Gujarat unit later in 1987.Modi rose within the party and was named a member of the BJP's National Election Committee in 1990, helping organise L. K. Advani's 1990 Ram Rath Yatra in 1990 and Murli Manohar Joshi's 1991–92 Ekta Yatra (Journey for Unity).However, he took a brief break from politics in 1992, instead establishing a school in Ahmedabad; friction with Shankersingh Vaghela, a BJP MP from Gujarat at the time, also played a part in this decision.Modi returned to electoral politics in 1994, partly at the insistence of Advani, and as party secretary, Modi's electoral strategy was considered central to the BJP victory in the 1995 state assembly elections.In November of that year Modi was elected BJP national secretary and transferred to New Delhi, where he assumed responsibility for party activities in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.The following year, Shankersinh Vaghela, a prominent BJP leader from Gujarat, defected to the Indian National Congress (Congress, INC) after losing his parliamentary seat in the Lok Sabha elections.Modi, on the selection committee for the 1998 Assembly elections in Gujarat, favoured supporters of BJP leader Keshubhai Patel over those supporting Vaghela to end factional division in the party. His strategy was credited as key to the BJP winning an overall majority in the 1998 elections,and Modi was promoted to BJP general secretary (organisation) in May of that year.Chief Minister of GujaratTaking officeIn 2001, Keshubhai Patel's health was failing and the BJP lost a few state assembly seats in by-elections. Allegations of abuse of power, corruption and poor administration were made, and Patel's standing had been damaged by his administration's handling of the earthquake in Bhuj in 2001.The BJP national leadership sought a new candidate for the chief ministership, and Modi, who had expressed misgivings about Patel's administration, was chosen as a replacement.Although BJP leader L. K. Advani did not want to ostracise Patel and was concerned about Modi's lack of experience in government, Modi declined an offer to be Patel's deputy chief minister, telling Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee that he was "going to be fully responsible for Gujarat or not at all". On 3 October 2001 he replaced Patel as Chief Minister of Gujarat, with the responsibility of preparing the BJP for the December 2002 elections.Modi was sworn in as Chief Minister on 7 October 2001,and entered the Gujarat state legislature on 24 February 2002 by winning a by-election to the Rajkot – II constituency, defeating Ashwin Mehta of the INC by 14,728 votes.2002 Gujarat riotsMain article: 2002 Gujarat riotsOn 27 February 2002, a train with several hundred passengers burned near Godhra, killing approximately 60 people.The train carried a large number of Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya after a religious ceremony at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid.In making a public statement after the incident, Modi said that the attack had been terror attack planned by local Muslims.The next day, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad called for a bandh across the state.Riots began during the bandh, and anti-Muslim violence spread through Gujarat.The government's decision to move the bodies of the train victims from Godhra to Ahmedabad further inflamed the violence.The state government stated later that 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed.Independent sources put the death toll at over 2000.Approximately 150,000 people were driven to refugee camps.Numerous women and children were among the victims; the violence included mass rapes and mutilations of women.The government of Gujarat itself is generally considered by scholars to have been complicit in the riots,and has otherwise received heavy criticism for its handling of the situation.Several scholars have described the violence as a pogrom, while others have called it an example of state terrorism.Summarising academic views on the subject, Martha Nussbaum said: "There is by now a broad consensus that the Gujarat violence was a form of ethnic cleansing, that in many ways it was premeditated, and that it was carried out with the complicity of the state government and officers of the law."The Modi government imposed a curfew in 26 major cities, issued shoot-at-sight orders and called for the army to patrol the streets, but was unable to prevent the violence from escalating.The president of the state unit of the BJP expressed support for the bandh, despite such actions being illegal at the time.State officials later prevented riot victims from leaving the refugee camps, and the camps were often unable to meet the needs of those living there.Muslim victims of the riots were subject to further discrimination when the state government announced that compensation for Muslim victims would be half of that offered to Hindus, although this decision was later reversed after the issue was taken to court.During the riots, police officers often did not intervene in situations where they were able.In 2012 Maya Kodnani, a minister in Modi's government from 2007 to 2009, was convicted by a lower court for participation in the Naroda Patiya massacre during the 2002 riots.Although Modi's government had announced that it would seek the death penalty for Kodnani on appeal, it reversed its decision in 2013.On 21 April 2018, the Gujarat High Courtacquitted Kodnani while noting that there were several shortfalls in the investigation.Modi's personal involvement in the 2002 events has continued to be debated. During the riots, Modi said that "What is happening is a chain of action and reaction."Later in 2002, Modi said the way in which he had handled the media was his only regret regarding the episode.Modi has not offered an apology for the riots and has stated that he should be rather punished and not forgiven if he is guilty.In March 2008, the Supreme Court reopened several cases related to the 2002 riots, including that of the Gulbarg Society massacre, and established a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the issue.In response to a petition from Zakia Jafri (widow of Ehsan Jafri, who was killed in the Gulbarg Society massacre), in April 2009 the court also asked the SIT to investigate the issue of Modi's complicity in the killings.The SIT questioned Modi in March 2010; in May, it presented to the court a report finding no evidence against him.In July 2011, the court-appointed amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran submitted his final report to the court. Contrary to the SIT's position, he said that Modi could be prosecuted based on the available evidence.The Supreme Court gave the matter to the magistrate's court. The SIT examined Ramachandran's report, and in March 2012 submitted its final report, asking for the case to be closed. Zakia Jaffri filed a protest petition in response. In December 2013 the magistrate's court rejected the protest petition, accepting the SIT's finding that there was no evidence against the chief minister.2002 electionIn the aftermath of the violence there were widespread calls for Modi to resign as chief minister from within and outside the state, including from leaders of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Telugu Desam Party (allies in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance coalition), and opposition parties stalled Parliament over the issue.Modi submitted his resignation at the April 2002 BJP national executive meeting in Goa, but it was not accepted.His cabinet had an emergency meeting on 19 July 2002, after which it offered its resignation to the Gujarat Governor S. S. Bhandari, and the state assembly was dissolved.Despite opposition from the election commissioner, who said that a number of voters were still displaced, Modi succeeded in advancing the election to December 2002.In the elections, the BJP won 127 seats in the 182-member assembly.Although Modi later denied it, he made significant use of anti-Muslim rhetoric during his campaign,and the BJP profited from religious polarisation among the voters.He won the Maninagar constituency, receiving 1,13,589 of 1,54,981 votes and defeating INC candidate Yatin Oza by 75,333 votes.On 22 December 2002, Bhandari swore Modi in for a second term.Modi framed the criticism of his government for human rights violations as an attack upon Gujarati pride, a strategy which led to the BJP winning two-thirds of the seats in the state assembly.Second termDuring Modi's second term the rhetoric of the government shifted from Hindutva to Gujarat's economic development.Modi curtailed the influence of Sangh Parivar organisations such as the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) and the Vishva Hindu Parishad(VHP),entrenched in the state after the decline of Ahmedabad's textile industry,and dropped Gordhan Zadafia (an ally of former Sangh co-worker and VHP state chief Praveen Togadia) from his cabinet. When the BKS staged a farmers' demonstration Modi ordered their eviction from state-provided houses, and his decision to demolish 200 illegal temples in Gandhinagar deepened the rift with the VHP.Sangh organisations were no longer consulted or informed in advance about Modi's administrative decisions.Nonetheless, Modi retained connections with some Hindu nationalists. Modi wrote a foreword to a textbook by Dinanath Batra released in 2014, which stated that ancient India possessed technologies including test-tube babies.Modi's relationship with Muslims continued to attract criticism. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (who asked Modi for tolerance in the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat violence and supported his resignation as chief minister)distanced himself, reaching out to North Indian Muslims before the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. After the elections Vajpayee called the violence in Gujarat a reason for the BJP's electoral defeat and said it had been a mistake to leave Modi in office after the riots.Questions about Modi's relationship with Muslims were also raised by many Western nations during his tenure as chief minister. Modi was barred from entering the United States by the State Department, in accordance with the recommendations of the Commission on International Religious Freedom formed under the aegis of the International Religious Freedom Act, the only person denied a US visa under this law.The UK and the European Union refused to admit him because of what they saw as his role in the riots. As Modi rose to prominence in India, the UKand the EUlifted their bans in October 2012 and March 2013, respectively, and after his election as prime minister he was invited to Washington.During the run-up to the 2007 assembly elections and the 2009 general election, the BJP intensified its rhetoric on terrorism.In July 2006, Modi criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh " for his reluctance to revive anti-terror legislation" such as the 2002 Prevention of Terrorism Act. He asked the national government to allow states to invoke tougher laws in the wake of the 2006 Mumbai train bombings.In 2007 Modi authored Karmayog, a 101-page booklet discussing manual scavenging. In it, Modi argued that scavenging was a "spiritual experience" for Valmiks, a sub-caste of Dalits.However, this book was not circulated that time because of the election code of conduct.After the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, Modi held a meeting to discuss the security of Gujarat's 1,600-kilometre (990 mi)-long coastline, resulting in government authorisation of 30 high-speed surveillance boats.In July 2007 Modi completed 2,063 consecutive days as chief minister of Gujarat, making him the longest-serving holder of that post,and the BJP won 122 of 182 state-assembly seats in that year's election.Modi meets his mother after winning the 2014 electionsDuring the campaign, Modi focused on the corruption scandals under the previous INC government, and played on his image as a politician who had created a high rate of GDP growth in Gujarat.Modi projected himself as a person who could bring about "development," without focus on any specific policies.His message found support among young Indians and among middle-class citizens.The BJP under Modi was able to downplay concerns about the protection of religious minorities and Modi's commitment to secularism, areas in which he had previously received criticism.Prior to the election Modi's image in the media had centered around his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, but during the campaign the BJP was able to shift this to a focus on Modi's neoliberal ideology and the Gujarat model of development, although Hindutva remained a significant part of its campaign.In states such as Uttar Pradesh in which the BJP performed well, it drew exceptionally high support from upper-caste Hindus, although the 10 percent of Muslim votes won was more than it had won before. It performed particularly well in parts of the country that had recently experienced violence between Hindus and Muslims.The magnitude of the BJP's victory led many commentators to say that the election constituted a political realignment away from progressive parties and towards the right-wing.Modi himself was a candidate for the Lok Sabha in two constituencies: Varanasi and Vadodara.Prime MinisterModi with the Chief Minister of Nagaland, T. R. Zeliang, and Naga people in Northeast India, December 2014Governance and other initiativesModi was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India on 26 May 2014. He became the first Prime Minister born after India's independence from the British Empire.His first year as prime minister saw significant centralisation of power relative to previous administrations.Modi's efforts at centralisation have been linked to an increase in the number of senior administration officials resigning their positions.Initially lacking a majority in the Rajya Sabha, or upper house of Indian Parliament, Modi passed a number of ordinances to enact his policies, leading to further centralisation of power.The government also passed a bill increasing the control that it had over the appointment of judges, and reducing that of the judiciary.In December 2014 Modi abolished the Planning Commission, replacing it with the National Institution for Transforming India, or NITI Aayog.The planning commission had received heavy criticism in previous years for creating inefficiency in the government, and of not filling its role of improving social welfare: however, since the economic liberalisation of the 1990s, it had been the major government body responsible for measures related to social justice.The Modi government launched investigations by the Intelligence Bureau against numerous civil society organizations and foreign non-governmental organizations in the first year of the administration. The investigations, on the grounds that these organizations were slowing economic growth, was criticized as a witchhunt. International humanitarian aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres was among the groups that were put under pressure.Other organisations affected included the Sierra Club and Avaaz.Cases of sedition were filed against individuals criticising the government.Modi repealed 1,200 obsolete laws in first three years as prime minister; a total of 1,301 such laws had been repealed by previous governments over a span of 64 years.He started a monthly radio programme titled "Mann Ki Baat" on 3 October 2014.Modi also launched the Digital India programme, with the goal of ensuring that government services are available electronically, building infrastructure to provide high-speed Internet access to rural areas, boosting manufacturing of electronic goods in the country, and promoting digital literacy.Economic policyModi with other BRICS leaders in 2016. Left to right: Temer, Modi, Xi, Putin and Zuma.The economic policies of Modi's government focused on privatisation and liberalisation of the economy, based on a neoliberal framework.Modi liberalised India's foreign direct investment policies, allowing more foreign investment in several industries, including in defence and the railways.Other proposed reforms included making it harder for workers to form unions and easier for employers to hire and fire them;some of these proposals were dropped after protests.The reforms drew strong opposition from unions: on 2 September 2015, eleven of the country's largest unions went on strike, including one affiliated with the BJP.The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, a constituent of the Sangh Parivar, stated that the underlying motivation of labour reforms favored corporations over labourers.The funds dedicated to poverty reduction programmes and social welfare measures were greatly decreased by the Modi administration.The money spent on social programmes declined from 14.6% of GDP during the Congress government to 12.6% during Modi's first year in office.Spending on health and family welfare declined by 15%, and on primary and secondary education by 16%.The budgetary allocation for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, or the "education for all" programme, declined by 22%.The government also lowered corporate taxes, abolished the wealth tax, increased sales taxes, and reduced customs duties on gold, and jewelry.Modi at the launch of the Make in India programmeIn September 2014, Modi introduced the Make in India initiative to encourage foreign companies to manufacture products in India, with the goal of turning the country into a global manufacturing hub.On 9 November 2016, the government demonetised ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes, with the stated intention of curbing corruption, black money, the use of counterfeit currency, and terrorism.Over the first four years of Modi's premiership, India's GDP grew at an average rate of 7.23%, higher than the rate of 6.39% under the previous government.The level of income inequality increased,while an internal government report said that in 2017, unemployment had increased to its highest level in 45 years. The loss of jobs was attributed to the 2016 demonetization, and to the effects of the Goods and Services Tax.Health and sanitationSee also: Swachh Bharat AbhiyanIn his first year as prime minister, Modi reduced the amount of money spent by the central government on healthcare.The Modi government launched New Health Policy (NHP) in January 2015. The policy did not increase the government's spending on healthcare, instead emphasizing the role of private healthcare organisations. This represented a shift away from the policy of the previous Congress government, which had supported programmes to assist public health goals, including reducing child and maternal mortality rates.The National Health Mission, which included public health programmes targeted at these indices received nearly 20%less funds in 2015 than in the previous year. 15 national health programmes, including those aimed at controlling tobacco use and supporting healthcare for the elderly, were merged with the National Health Mission. In its budget for the second year after it took office, the Modi government reduced healthcare spending by 15%.The healthcare budget for the following year rose by 19%. The budget was viewed positively by private insurance providers. Public health experts criticised its emphasis on the role of private healthcare providers, and suggested that it represented a shift away from public health facilities.The healthcare budget rose by 11.5% in 2018; the change included an allocation of 2000 crore for a government-funded health insurance program, and a decrease in the budget of the National Health Mission.The government introduced stricter packaging laws for tobacco which requires 85% of the packet size to be covered by pictorial warnings.An article in the medical journal Lancet stated that the country "might have taken a few steps back in public health" under Modi.In 2018 Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, a government health insurance scheme intended to insure 500 million people. 1 lakh people had signed up by October 2018.Modi emphasised his government's efforts at sanitation as a means of ensuring good health.On 2 October 2014, Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ("Clean India") campaign. The stated goals of the campaign included eliminating open defecationand manual scavenging within five years.As part of the programme, the Indian government began constructing millions of toilets in rural areas and encouraging people to use them.The government also announced plans to build new sewage treatment plants.The administration plans to construct 60 million toilets by 2019. The construction projects have faced allegations of corruption, and have faced severe difficulty in getting people to use the toilets constructed for them.In 2018, the World Health Organization stated that at least 180,000 diarrhoeal deaths were averted in rural India after the launch of the sanitation effort.HindutvaFurther information: HindutvaModi pays obeisance at Tirumala Temple in Andhra PradeshDuring the 2014 election campaign, the BJP sought to identify itself with political leaders known to have opposed Hindu nationalism, including B. R. Ambedkar, Subhas Chandra Bose, and Ram Manohar Lohia.A proposal for the controversial Uniform Civil Code was a part of the BJP's election manifesto.These activities included a Hindu religious conversion programme, a campaign against the alleged Islamic practice of "Love Jihad", and attempts to celebrate Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, by members of the right wing Hindu Mahasabha.Between 2015 and 2018, Human Rights Watch estimated that 44 people, most of them Muslim, were killed by vigilantes; the killings were described by commentators as related to attempts by BJP state governments to ban the slaughter of cows.Foreign policyFurther information: Foreign policy of Narendra Modi and List of prime ministerial trips made by Narendra ModiModi and US President Donald Trump giving a joint statement.Foreign policy played a relatively small role in Modi's election campaign, and did not feature prominently in the BJP's election manifesto.Modi invited all the other leaders of SAARC countries to his swearing in ceremony as prime minister.He was the first Indian prime minister to do so.Modi meeting Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi in New Delhi in January 2018Modi's foreign policy, similarly to that of the preceding INC government, focused on improving economic ties, security, and regional relations.Modi continued Manmohan Singh's policy of "multi-alignment."The Modi administration tried to attract foreign investment in the Indian economy from several sources, especially in East Asia, with the use of slogans such as "Make in India" and "Digital India".The government also tried to improve relations with Islamic nations in the Middle East, such as Bahrain, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as with Israel.During the first few months after the election, Modi made trips to a number of different countries to further the goals of his policy, and attended the BRICS, ASEAN, and G20 summits.One of Modi's first visits as prime minister was to Nepal, during which he promised a billion USD in aid.Modi also made several overtures to the United States, including multiple visits to that country.While this was described as an unexpected development, due to the US having previously denied Modi a travel visa over his role during the 2002 Gujarat riots, it was also expected to strengthen diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries.In 2015, the Indian parliament ratified a land exchange deal with Bangladesh about the India–Bangladesh enclaves, which had been initiated by the government of Manmohan Singh.Modi's administration gave renewed attention to India's "Look East Policy", instituted in 1991. The policy was renamed the "Act East Policy", and involved directing Indian foreign policy towards East Asia and Southeast Asia.The government signed agreements to improve land connectivity with Myanmar, through the state of Manipur. This represented a break with India's historic engagement with Myanmar, which prioritised border security over trade.Defence policyThe President of Israel Reuven Rivlin and Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces Gadi Eizenkotwith Modi.India's nominal military spending increased steadily under Modi.The military budget declined over Modi's tenure both as a fraction of GDP and when adjusted for inflation.A substantial portion of the military budget was devoted to personnel costs, leading commentators to write that the budget was constraining Indian military modernization.The BJP election manifesto had also promised to deal with illegal immigration into India in the Northeast, as well as to be more firm in its handling of insurgent groups. The Modi government issued a notification allowing Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist illegal immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh to legalise their residency in India. The government described the measure as being taken for humanitarian reasons but it drew criticism from several Assamese organisations.The Modi administration negotiated a peace agreement with the largest faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCM), which was announced in August 2015. The Naga insurgency in northeast India had begun in the 1950s.The NSCM and the government had agreed to a ceasefire in 1997, but a peace accord had not previously been signed.In 2015 the government abrogated a 15-year ceasefire with the Khaplang faction of the NSCM (NSCM-K). The NSCM-K responded with a series of attacks, which killed 18 people.The Modi government carried out a raid across the border with Myanmar as a result, and labelled the NSCM-K a terrorist organisation.Modi promised to be "tough on Pakistan" during his election campaign, and repeatedly stated that Pakistan was an exporter of terrorism.On 29 September 2016, the Indian Army stated that it had conducted a surgical strike on terror launchpads in Azad Kashmir. The Indian media claimed that up to 50 terrorists and Pakistani soldiers had been killed in the strike.Pakistan initially denied that any strikes had taken place.Subsequent reports suggested that Indian claim about the scope of the strike and the number of casualties had been exaggerated, although cross-border strikes had been carried out.In February 2019 India carried out airstrikes in Pakistan against a supposed terrorist camp. Further military skirmishes followed, including cross-border shelling and the loss of an Indian aircraft.Approval ratingsModi interacting with the school children after delivering his address on Independence Day in New Delhi, 15 August 2017As a Prime Minister, Modi has received consistently high approval ratings; at the end of his first year in office, he received an overall approval rating of 87% in a Pew Research poll, with 68% of people rating him "very favorably" and 93% approving of his government.His approval rating remained largely consistent at around 74% through his second year in office, according to a nationwide poll conducted by instaVaani.At the end of his second year in office, an updated Pew Research poll showed Modi continued to receive high overall approval ratings of 81%, with 57% of those polled rating him "very favorably."At the end of his third year in office, a further Pew Research poll showed Modi with an overall approval rating of 88%, his highest yet, with 69% of people polled rating him "very favorably."In 2014, 2015 and 2017, he was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World.He was also declared winner of the Time magazine reader's poll for Person of the Year in 2014 and 2016.Forbes Magazine ranked him the 15th-Most-Powerful Person in the World in 2014 and the 9th-Most-Powerful Person in the World in 2015, 2016 and 2018.In 2015, Modi was ranked the 13th-Most-Influential Person in the World by Bloomberg Markets Magazine.Modi was ranked fifth on Fortune Magazine's first annual list of the "World's Greatest Leaders" in 2015.In 2017, Gallup International Association (GIA) conducted a poll and ranked Modi as third top leader of the world.In 2016, a wax statue of Modi was unveiled at Madame Tussaud Wax Museum in London.In 2015 he was named one of Time's "30 Most Influential People on the Internet" as the second-most-followed politician on Twitter and Facebook.In 2018 he was the third most followed head of the state on Twitter,and the most followed world leader on Facebook and Instagram.In October 2018, Modi received UN's highest environmental award, the 'Champions of the Earth', for policy leadership by “pioneering work in championing” the International Solar Alliance and “new areas of levels of cooperation on environmental action”.He was conferred the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize in recognition of his dedication to improving international cooperation, raising global economic growth, accelerating the Human Development of the people of India by fostering economic growth and furthering the development of democracy through anti-corruption and social integration efforts. He is the first Indian to win the award.In January 2019, PM Narendra Modi, a biographic film starring Vivek Oberoi as Modi, was announced.State honoursOrder of Abdulaziz Al SaudSaudi Arabia3 April 2016Member Special Class, The highest civilian honour of Saudi ArabiaState Order of Ghazi Amir Amanullah KhanAfghanistan4 June 2016The highest civilian honour of AfghanistanGrand Collar of the State of PalestinePalestine10 February 2018The highest honour granted to foreigners by PalestineOrder of ZayedUnited Arab Emirates4 April 2019The highest civilian honour of the United Arab EmiratesOrder of St. AndrewRussia12 April 2019The highest civilian honour of RussiaMaximum Modi, minimum opportunityNo leader could have achieved what Modi hasThis month, Narendra Modi completes three years as India’s prime minister. It is a long enough period for anyone to get a sense of his leadership style. What is clear by now is that Mr Modi is completely different from his predecessor, Manmohan Singh, and indeed almost all his predecessors.Indira Gandhi, who served as prime minister for almost 15 years in two different stints, is perhaps the only one whose operational style is a little closer to that of Mr Modi. Both were strong leaders. Both had a connect with the ordinary people of India. And both understood power and authority -- and knew how to use them.Mr Modi, however, is different in many ways. Here are five key aspects of Mr Modi’s leadership style. Some of these may be similar to those of Indira Gandhi, but they acquire a new dimension and colour under Mr Modi.One, Mr Modi’s command over the bureaucracy is total. He entered the Prime Minister’s Office as a complete outsider, but took very little time to understand how he needs to take charge of the bureaucracy. Disintermediation was his primary instrument to keep civil servants under control. In sharp contrast to his immediate predecessor, Mr Modi made sure that he had a role and the final say in deciding on the appointment of senior civil servants in all important ministries. Thus, many central ministers realised that their top bureaucrats also had a direct connect with the prime minister and the PMO.What is clear by now is that Mr Modi is completely different from his predecessor, Manmohan Singh, and indeed almost all his predecessors.In line with this strategy, Modi developed a relationship of accountability with top civil servants across the central ministries. Periodic meetings were held with top secretaries in different ministries where the prime minister would be directly briefed on the progress of policy actions decided upon by the government. Yes, the ministers concerned would often be there in such meetings, but every bureaucrat present there would know who the boss was and whose writ ran at the end of the day.Even when the issues to be decided pertained to the Budget, the architecture of the goods and services tax or demonetisation, the prime minister made sure that he had a direct involvement with the bureaucrats concerned and played a role in the formulation of policies or their execution. This was again completely different from the way Manmohan Singh ran the government for 10 years, when he would operate through the PMO officials, through the central ministers or through file notes.A different ModiExpecting de-escalation of tensions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, if he is voted back to power, would be different though. Mr. Modi made a surprise visit to Lahore in December 2015 to wish his then-Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, on his birthday. Will he be inclined to do the same on Mr. Khan’s birthday this year? If Mr. Modi returns to power after this election campaign, which has been filled with invocations of Pulwama and Balakot, then it would be on the anti-Pakistan plank. In 2014, Mr. Modi wanted to be the leader who gave an opportunity to a recalcitrant neighbour. A re-elected Mr. Modi might not be in the need for such gestures. His ideological predilections will dissuade him as well. Besides, at the core of the Modi phenomenon has been his uncompromising persona. His appeal is to a core base that is of his own making and not necessarily that of the RSS-BJP combine. The base he appeals to believes in bravado and machismo.Modi has also reinforced his leadership quality by being a good communicator round the year, and not just during election times. He has an active Twitter account. Citizens are encouraged to go directly to his website. He has a monthly radio talk show Mann ki Baat(What Is on My Mind). He travels around the country and takes a lead role in every election campaign. People see him and hear him all the time. That is a lot different from previous prime ministers.