We certainly do not have the most ideal politicians on any sides of the fence. However to blame our politicians for the general apathy in participation in the democratic system is taking the blame game a bit too far. After all the politicians themselves are a creation of the society from which they come, they themselves are a product of a system which no longer serves our needs as a people.
By choosing to not vote on election day, what message did you really send? If it was that you were dissatisfied with one party, you would have seen that both sides did not get that message. And why would they? In the first past the post system, what ultimately matters on the day is the largest number of votes cast. In proportional representation as well, what matters is the number of votes cast. So by withholding your vote, ultimately nothing was achieved.
If we a citizens want to change the system we have to show genuine interest in the system because as it stands, the one who gets the majority of votes cast on the day regardless of turnout controls the spoils, including the ability to implement any meaningful change.
If for example we we were to go out and ask anyone why they would not vote, the response we would likely get is: "Those politicians have done nothing for me." This selfish viewpoint is exactly why our system fails, our politicians fail and our society fails. It is a case of every man for himself, from the highest office holder to the general citizenry.
If you truly want to make a difference, send a message to the politicians by showing an interest. Demand better representation by being part of the system and exercising your right. Show them that your vote and by extension the withholding of your vote is sacred and needs to be earned actively. Else, if it is not cast, it is not worth anything in any system of democracy.
Vedavid Manick, Sangre Grande
Taking the blame game too far
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