Your Vote, Your Right
Majority of the countries have a democratic Government except China, Cuba, Jordan, North Korea, to name a few. Democracy is a structure where the people’s voice and choice is taken into consideration. Recently various countries have just concluded their General Elections and while some results were obvious, some have been surprising. This happens, but how genuine is the voting process, how interested are the voters, do their elected winners keep promises, these are a few of the many questions we are asking each other as the world is getting smaller.
Let us take a look at each continent, while Europe has matured with its democracy and you would never hear a Prime Minister conducting a referendum to extend his years in office, Africa is a contrast. When President Kagame extended his term, eyebrows were raised and time will tell whether it was worth it. Meanwhile President Yoweri Museveni easily got re-elected and President Robert Mugabe celebrated his 92nd birthday still in office. Kenya is not far from its own General Elections and currently voter registration is ongoing. We turned out in large numbers and hopefully there will be a repeat and successful elections in 2017.
The democracy idea is most vibrant right now in the United States of America, they are being considered the almost Father of Democracy. The surprise Republican candidate Donald Trump is providing loads of entertainment but lo behold there is something very serious going on too. He has followers, ardent ones, who want a change, who want their voice, their choice and most importantly their vote to make the difference. That’s why across in the Democrat side, candidates like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are also doing more to get voter attention.
But while many still go ahead and exercise their right to vote, they leave it at that. Getting involved is messy, boring or time consuming. When your company is faced with an unfavorable tax policy or workers problem, how many realistically address it with the relevant authorities? You may argue that because corruption is rampant, what is the point? Why bother telling the Government you are unhappy about anything at all? Or why bother getting involved with your Ward/Constituency as a volunteer and help make the change from the grassroots level? Mahatma Gandhi has been famously quoted for saying “be the change you wish to see in the world” and to collapse the British Raj he used the tactic of producing home grown kadhi. But the world is too busy chasing the West or China for production or manufacturing, Africa sits on the edge of the sword of its leaders, waiting and waiting.
Use the vote, teach your family, friends, children- the future that it still makes a difference, after all there are several examples to prove that so don’t get discouraged. But make more effort or stop speculating and criticizing. It is easy to sit on the bench and point fingers at leaders but if you were there what would you different? Take a simple example close at home, when you are given charge of the house, family business or your own, how well have you performed, or promoted good values, motivated the staff, increased profit margins, be honest.
The world is on the brink of absolute transparency. Never has there been more access to knowledge, ideas and change. So “be the change you wish to see in the world.” It starts with you.