Not since the 1970 election have the people of Pakistan turned out in such great numbers to vote. Two differences are notable, however. First, while in 1970 they voted the Pakistan People’s Party to power, this time, they came out in droves to boot it out. Second, while 1970 was a time of great hope and optimism, this year cynicism was palpable even as they voted. This was understandable as all the main contesting parties appeared committed irrevocably to the same market liberalism that has characterised Pakistan’s governments for the last three decades. In the end, people followed the only path open to them in most democracies: vote the incumbent out, even if the alternatives promise more of the same!