March 13, 2011

Why vote in election 2011

They make you walk up and down a dozen and more times when you want to get a Voter ID Card.
They delay this for weeks on end.
Then they misspell your name on the card.
After all this, would you really want to participate in a state election process?
You call up your MLA but his phone is busy, his PA is busy and his dog is busy.
You email him and he sends you a smiley.
You want him to fix your dead streetlights and do some thing about the piling garbage. He makes a promise and does not keep it or keeps it much later.
You have not seen him in your colony but you have seen his picture in the newspapers. And when you finally turn up before him for help, he asks, “Did you vote for me in the election?”
And you wonder, why should I bother about elections and MLAs.
You get your filter water on order. Your generator starts when the EB line breaks down. You have ways to beautify your pavement and get rid of the stinking NMF garbage bin that is right next to your apartment block.
You can live without your democratically elected rep.
And you smirk - who needs an election?
Does an election to the State Assembly really mean anything to a metro neighbourhood?
If you go by the stats and analyses, the answer is a broad NO.
The number of people who make it a point to learn about the issues, the candidates and the politics is small. Those who prefer to remain ignorant are not embarrassed anymore unless you stick a mike and camera in their face and stump them.
The percentage of people who go out on Election Day and cast their ballot has been falling alarmingly. Some plan a holiday out, some watch TV, some just do not bother and some get driven away by the goons at the poll station or are driven in circles because of mixed data and patchy records.
But some make an effort. They even demand that they register their view that they do not approve of any of the candidates in the fray - you can do that by law.
We have distanced ourselves from grassroot democracy and its function. And we seem to be saying goodbye to elections.
Yes, you have not got the candidates you would wish for.
Yes, you do not expect much from either of the political parties. Yes, much looks like a black comedy.
But if we go away and away from what is core to democracy we may well be encouraging the worst.
Another election is with us. Think. You have a role to play.
And it does not start and end with casting your ballot.


ram said...

The problem is when we are aware that those who stand in the elections are rogues / criminals / bootleggers and those whose only intention is amass wealth - whom do we vote for.

Honest and those with integriy are masked by money power & threats.

ARE WE HONEST AS A CITIZEN, is the prime question ?

How do we stop those with criminal records or their stooges from standing in an election.

How many of us (citizens) can individually stand up to the problems of corruption and "free fund distribution" that goes on during an election.

Vidhya said...

Why not make a case for voting with positive reasons Vincent? Like being responsible- demanding work from our MLAs and MPs- after all we pay them same as we pay our employees and domestic help- and dont flinch asking them to do their work.

We have to vote- no doubt- but our responsibility
does not end there