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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.