Saturday, November 12, 2011

Obligation Of Election Participation

[image source google]
Amidst the rising political temperature ahead of November19th civic elections in British Columbia Canada, the political wrangling gets red hot in the city of Surrey where a large number of candidates are contesting to grab  one mayoral position, fourteen positions of councillors and six positions of school trustees. A multi-ethnic involvement makes the race even more exciting of course. Now it’s up to the local citizens to go ahead and vote for their favourite contestants for next three years term.

Taking an active part in the democratic process is duty of every eligible voter. Ignoring the important process and the obligated participation therein would be of great disadvantage to the local citizens. Exercising the right of vote means electing those who have a clean past record with integrity.

However, “not voting” means missing out the extremely important opportunity to effectively voice your opinion about the right candidate.
In fact, the political process has been designed in a way, where voting connects the voters with each other, so that the candidates with majority votes are chosen to look after the official duties.

Furthermore, just a simple act of marking ballot tells our leaders exactly what we think about policy decisions that affect our lives.
Fair taxation, health care issues, the environment and numerous other issues are handled better when competent people with integrity are chosen at the time of election.
Moreover, through voting each citizen becomes politically aware of the democratic system, obligations and the advantages.

On the contrary, the citizen with “I don’t care” attitude actually encourages the opposite of “fair and impartial” election results; thus contributes negatively. And the level playing field is compromised again to the disadvantage of the local community.
It is clear that by not voting, the citizen is staying SILENT resulting in the loss of any right of voicing later to correct any misappropriation or administrative mishandling.
Disaster is when the incompetent politicians have already manipulated and taken advantage of the voters’ low turnout.

Publicity by the biased media becomes problematic, as it sends wrong signal resulting in adversely affecting a good candidate. Misinformation is unfair, as it would not help the public choose the right candidates for the right job. That will be waste of time and money – adding to the financial strain on all concerned.

It’s a bitter reality that some wrong elements in the media focus only on the negative actions of politicians, such as scandals, and ignore the “contribution” of such good candidates. Such a biased attitude is dangerous enough to turn the voters off. And, there are always many students who are of the opinion that keeping up with election coverage is a waste of time for a variety of reasons, the most popular being that students never see the benefits of any election outcome. Here media has to play a positive role.

Nevertheless, having been inspired by late Jack Layton, a large number of Canadian youth jumped into the arena of politics, the younger voters still need encouragement to get involved with the political process at all levels by joining the political institutions.
As no immediate fruits of such participation are seen, so many citizens are not convinced enough. The government must take some steps to educate the student community to enhance their sense of civic responsibility that would encourage the youth to get out and vote.

Clearly, by not voting, we actually break the connection between individual Canadians and their community. A democratic community can only survive if its citizens participate in the political process under all circumstances. And, this electoral process connects us to one another as citizens, as well as by expressing our opinion we actually help maintain our democratic order.

Certainly, the democracy would be dead if no one comes out to vote. Therefore, a democracy by its very nature needs the participation of the people, otherwise there is no democracy. Therefore, it’s of extreme importance to make your voice heard through casting a ballot for the candidate of your independent choice.

Not voting clearly equals nothing but “stupid silence” allowing the crooks to grab positions of political importance. A crook and incompetent person should never be allowed to serve the community. Yet, in the absence of voicing your opinion through polls, there is your silence which becomes a contributory negligence as the right people for the right job couldn’t have been elected; thus, depriving the community of competent office holders.
Now, you can’t complain about what you already have allowed by not showing up. A vote was your voice, which you lost by ignoring your own legal right of voting. Agreement or disagreement is immaterial after it’s all over.

Also, voting is a responsibility and a duty. It also gives you power, because you become involved as a participant. It’s encouraging to note that even the “chamber of commerce” demands municipal voting rights be extended to businesses.
Without the vote, according to Chamber CEO John Winter, his commercial constituents have shouldered an “unfair tax burden."

Most importantly, there is absolutely no excuse for not voting, as a lot of flexibility is available to facilitate the potential voter.
As there is always a big price tag attached - to carry out the democratic process aimed at selecting the federal, provincial or city’s political representatives, the tax payers must think twice before letting a wrong person get elected or staying silent by not taking part at all in the political process during election time.


TheBluntBlogger said...

Tariq ji...I think I am the subject of the post as I avoided voting for the lack.of faith in.politicians. And I do agree with the point that media highlights negative attributes and ignore the contributions.

this post made me think....a lot.

Thinking said...

Tariq Mian Sahib....this is very nice elaborate the importance of voting very well...

I like your phrase : Democracy by its very nature needs the participation of the people, otherwise there is no democracy.

How people of Pakistan wants a democratic government where half of them does not vote...?

And who do...don't have the choice to choose....they are usually driven by rich and so much in debt with their masters that they can't disapprove their master's choices.

hmmm...I think people should educate at first themselves to VOTE ...we can't give away our vote to be misused by crook as you defined...again...democracy is possible with the participation of people...

Nice post again.

Windsmoke. said...

Well written post. I must say that if you don't vote there's no point whinging about the result if you don't like the candidate who has been elected its your voice and your right to vote, excercise it :-).

Tariq Mian said...

Chintan ji...Only those abstainers are the subject of the post who have the attitude of "who cares?"

Equally bad are those who give vote under some pressure destroying the fragility of merit system.

Since, selfless politicians are the backbone of democracy; they must be voted so that they are able to occupy the political office to serve the community/constituency honestly.

Thanks for the earliest response.

Tariq Mian said...

Well commented.

you are exactly right--the political/legal voice has to be used through voting during the election- not afterwards when it is kind of too late.
Thanks for coming over.

Tariq Mian said...
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Tariq Mian said...
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Tariq Mian said...

@ THINKING:------- THANKING is my favourite word here for you as you have fully grasped out of the post about - the importance of exercising the legal right of vote during the election time.

Complaining or disagreeing AFTERWORDS is nothing more than crying over spilt milk.
Pakistan still stands a chance to survive as ALLAH SWT has blessed the nation with CJP Choughry sahib and, the country is now doubly blessed as KAPTAAN KHAN has emerged as a real voice for the political tsunami.
Justice and Governance would take care of the miserable nation after all.
But, be warned that this the last chance for the people to come out and change the system with their democratic voice.
Vaderaism is about to fade.


Pari said...

Positively, there is a chance to save the democracy through convincing and alerting the voters to use their rights independently.

people will never learn to be politically mature unless there is some kind of educating drive.

Anonymous said...

I think democracy is a failure in many countries.

Steve E said...

Please note: my country (U.S.) is a Republic...NOT a Democracy. Certainly, a lot of our choosing of officers (president, etc.) is by democratic vote...but that does not make us a Democracy.

We are safeguarded by a board of 'Electors' who always have a 'final' decision. This is to protect us from electing a complete nit-wit as leader.
(Sometimes one sneaks through the netting--grin!) But, to clarify: We are NOT a 'one person-one vote' country...

I would join your discussion, but will lurk here until I learn more about Pakistani politics.


Usama Rehman said...

Extremely well written post!!
really informative.

however Tariq mian dont you think Pakistan as a country needs real upliftment when it comes to voting.....because the ground reality is that the mojority of the voters are rural who have family affiliations and depend on bread and butter only on the Crooks who represent their areas. We need a change in this rural setup, if this does not happen, the Urban population cannot woefully do much with their votes.

while keeping in mind that we must hope with reason but cant hope against reason, a change is indeed needed in the mindsets and conditions of the rural class to make an election successful!

Tariq Mian said...

Hi Steve
thank you very much for showing up here. Your comment is very interesting, so I found little explanation from the google--website mentioned below:

•A government of the masses.
•Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of "direct" expression.
•Results in mobocracy.
•Attitude toward property is communistic--negating property rights.
•Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether is be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.
•Results in demogogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
•Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.
•Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.
•A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass.
•Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy.
•Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.
•Is the "standard form" of government throughout the world.


In my opinion, the United States of America can be best described as a democratic republic, because it has both --the Democrats and the Republicans,
Pakistan is an Islamic Republic under the 1973 Constitution.
Basically it’s the will of majority of the people - naive/moron/intelligent or crooks - all are welcome.

Tariq Mian said...


It's verry kind of you to respond and leave a thought provoking comment. Insh Allah I am writing a post on current scenario of Pakistan.
Please stay around.

White Freedom said...


as citizen of royal country i ALWAYS want something like this.different people ( no more royal family , no more their sons and relative ! and NO MORE stealing trillions of money from production oil for themselves and leaving us in the line of poorness ), but since this is another country i will say : i always talking with my sisters about voting thing , it's scares me due to if i voted to someone promise us to do this and that , less tax and more health care ...etc and he DIDN'T keep his promise that's means to me REGRET for voting to him . i know voting is good for us but i still afraid of regretting , it's like when they voted to G.W.Bosh and then they said he's one of the stupidest presidents of the US . I only wrote what they felt from what i saw in the TV, due to his way of dealing with lots of things in the US and out abroad .However in the same time I'm with voting if i saw multi-ethnic Candidates and they have lots of ideas for us. also if somehow one of the Candidates has (negative actions)and he REALLY has very good ideas to make some changes and take the lead to make this country to be in very good financial and it have lots of development projects.... so why we don't vote for him ! we All NOT perfect either !
and just like Thinking says i also don't agree if they used uneducated people for voting due to they don't know who's the good Candidate and who's not.
I'm with voting but in the same time I'm afraid of regretting .

Muhammad Israr said...

well i think more than 50 percent of the world population living in the so-called democracies does not have the desired people to vote for and here in Paksitan the voters does not know what it means to vote somebody...they just vote what they are told to by their elder, khan, nawab, wadhera, chuadhary or whatever... and i think there should be an option of NONE OF THE ABOVE on the ballot paper so that we can register our protest against the candidates who are unworthy of going to the parliament...

sunny said...

very informative post,very well done.

Dave King said...

I, too, may have to rethink my attitude - which of late has become almost automatic - towards politicians in the light of this very thought-provoking post.

Tariq Mian said...

@White Freedom:
@Muhammad Israr
@David King

Thank you all for your valuable comments.
Please stay around to have look at my next post to answer most of your concerns.
I am proud of all the responders of this post for highlighting many hidden issues.

Anonymous said...

eye opener post

Billie said...

people need to be educated about the disadvantages of not voting seriously or the repurcussions not voting-- period.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tariq Mian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tariq said...

You are 100% right.
Please come again to put your valuable input.

tariq said...


Mishi said...

hello there!:-)

sorry I was away as my lappy had an issue..Brilliant piece here Tariq sab:-)

Yes I used to think the same that there is no point in casting my vote when I dont have the best choices available..but Its not the same now..em very determined to use my vote so that I may participate in the bringing change procedure..I dont care wot pple think of Imran Khan but for me he is the only guy who deserves my vote...I will use it weather it makes him PM or not..but we should at least try once..pple keep on saying he cant win and I keep on asking could he win if you will keep on discourging pple who want to support him by saying " is ko vote denay ka kiya faida is ny kon sa jeet jana hai!" aray baba uss ko vote do gay tou jeetay ga na!.. aik aik vote is precious..if only he gets youth's vote.we can have our voice in the parliment in next terms..em somebody with the basic knowledge of current affairs in pakistan and I know he is not going to sweep the elections will take him some time yet,.

but you see if only we could manage to bring him in the opposition , it makes a change..I dont have any write to criticise the govt if:
1: I dint cast my vote at all in Election.
2: I gave them to the same corrupt people !

I hope I made my point here,,and hope you had a nice eid:-)

Tariq Mian said...

Hi Mishi,
Marvellous is your political awakening. I mean it.
In fact, morally obligated/legally entitled citizens must go ahead for putting right people for the right job.
Unfortunately, negative mindset on part of the naive people is nothing other than the irritating culprit - helping the corrupt people grab the positions of power.

At least now or never, citizens must come to their senses for God sake; and come out to elect honest and competent people in the legislature, as it’s good for all.

Certainly, that would act as hurdle for bad laws to pass.

Usually, bad laws are made by the legislative crooks with vested interests; as they need the so called rules (legalised trapping mechanism) to control and scare away the potential opponents to carry on with their corruption.


We can express our agreement or disagreement only through vote, so the right must be exercised vigilantly on the basis of merit only.

For sure, the OBSOLETE negative MINDSET needs a brand new perception and a brand new leadership in the political arena which has already emerged; and is the only hope for the majority of youth.
A lot of effort is needed to make the political change a success.

BUT BUT BUT Naive are those who want to sustain “the killer status quo.”

Mishi! You are hell of a smart thinker—kudos!

Mishi said...

hahaha..Well this is nice of you to say so..em sure you did note my new email Id! sorry about the Spam Emails!

tariq said...

And why not! Mishi you deserve to be recognised.
Very kind of you to visit again.

And yes - I have the story about spam.

STRANGER said...

Tariq Ji,

The role of voters, post-election is also vital which is hardly there. By voting we simply elect the cleaner person but for decision making in a policy matter, a system of “referendum” should also be in place. Our elected representatives must take us into confidence on important issues.


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