May 23, 2007

I won't vote and here is why

Today, our town votes.

We are having elections to the Municipal body in our town. Will I vote? In all probability, I will not. Its too much work, and one that will be in vain.

India has often been hailed as the largest democracy in the world. It is often said that India is a good example of how democracy should work. I seriously beg to differ. Democracy is failing in India and maybe the world over, but I am no expert to comment about the situation around the world – I can only speak about what I see.

Democracy assumes that people will vote and will vote for the best candidate, unselfishly and righteously. But this is not what happens. For example I have been witness to an election to a local body, where the winning candidate arranged for everyone to get drunk (i.e. free drinks etc.) the night before the elections and got all the votes he needed.

Who Votes?

India is still a developing country where a large number of people are daily wage earners. No work for one day means no food on the family’s plate on that day. So they don’t vote. The better-off people find it too difficult to come out, and stand in queues, to vote. And a large number of people don’t vote because they feel that their vote just won’t matter. This, the only people who end up voting are the ones who are affiliated to certain parties or who have a personal agenda or because they are desirous of seeing one candidate win over another, or maybe one candidate lose to another.

The Best Candidate?

What should be the criteria for choosing the best candidate? His ideas, the work he has done or the promises he makes, one might say. But, what if you know, for a fact, that one candidate is as bad as another. From what I have seen, more often that not that is the case. Yet one of them will win and become a political master to rule over the masses.

There is no best candidate. The best candidates don’t get the tickets to contest the elections. Most of the people who could potentially have been the best candidates have already chosen a different career in life.

In India, most people choose a career right after 10 + 2 years of school. The brilliant ones get into The IIT’s (Engineering college), The AIIM’s (Medical college) or other such professional colleges. The ones who fail to get into these colleges graduate from regular school, and then get an MBA or another such degree. Those who fail even here ultimately decide to join politics. Not many in India join politics because they want to;there are some who do, but exceptions have never proved a rule.

Do we vote unselfishly?

Even with all the ills mentioned before, things could have been better if we, the people, voted in the best possible manner. But considerations like caste, community, color, sex, etc distort our choice an will continue to do so. After all the politician is a product of the society, and if a society cannot be wise, the politician cant be wise either.
If a society is constituted of illiterate people, their leader should be illiterate? I don’t know if that makes sense, but that is what is presupposed in a democracy.

I guess I wont vote today because I don’t believe in democracy, at least not in the way it is operating In India today.


The Jamaican adventures of mamachel said...

Its pretty much the same here in Jamaica the system is flawed like most governments. You must not give up hope though neo I know it sounds cliche but maybe your one vote can make a difference. They are depending on you NOT to vote.

squirrel said...

I agree with the jamaican. You should vote!

Marko said...

I live in Slovenia and every single time when I get a chance to vote I try to participate in this event, but in the end I rarely do.
In most cases I come to the same conclusion - all of them bastard politics are the same! Whatever the choice, you usually have nothing to choose from.

But still I think democracy is the least bad political system of them all (to this day anyway) and we should not give up on it. In my opinion anyway...

BTW. Would you by any chance like to exchange links with me? If you do, drop me a post at

stev said...

i'm no expert in the subject as well

but democracy's idea (like most ideas. heh) has it's merits. and of course its flaws as well.

before democracy can be effective, the mechanisms need to be there definitely & not a farce. yet it's quite hard to say in the world of gray we live in today.

still overall personally feel in most circumstances that voting in general is for the good of our own rights, compared to the blessed ignorance of apathy.

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