Why Should You Vote ?

Khurshed Batliwala has an interesting article on why should you vote ?

If you check out the polls, you will see that in most constituencies, a maximum of 60 – 70% people go and vote. Now this 60% of the votes is typically shared between 4 to 6 candidates who may be contesting the election for that place. Even assuming that only 3 are the popular ones, the vote distribution will be approximately 10-15% each (of the 60% polled) among the popular ones and the rest among the others. So we will usually have a victory with just 15-20% of the votes of a given constituency! So a person will come into power with a “majority” vote of just 15-20%, usually much less, maybe even 10-12%!

This in itself is pretty flawed according to me, you will have a very hard time convincing me that 49% is a majority, let alone 12-20%.

Our politicians seem to be pretty good at maths, and they have done this calculation, and so know that to win an election, they need to worry ONLY about getting 20% of the votes. So they divided the country into OBC, and SC/ST and minority castes and so on, so that they could see a clear 20% of the population they would need to take care of (appease) so that they would be able to secure their vote and stay/get into power.

When you see it this way, almost every single government policy will make perfect sense. Now how can you confound this happy little scheme? Well, if more than 90% of the population goes and votes, then just securing that cozy 20% of the votes is not going to get them into power. Then, they will have to actually take care of everyone… the majority as well as the minority, which they should have been doing in the first place, but don’t, because the majority DOESN’T VOTE!

So to force the hand of the government to be “by the people, for the people and of the people” more people need to vote.

The word politics actually says it all: Poli meaning many, tics meaning bloodsucking creatures. Your right of franchise, your duty to vote is the tic powder. Use it! So why should you vote? Fundamentally, because you can. You are blessed to live in a country where you can vote. God forbid that you suddenly wake up in a country where you can’t vote…

Original Source : The March.

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Why should the youth vote ??

The youth vote is sadly underestimated by party analysts.
Yes, it is true, the trend analysts who tell party spindoctors where to target their advertising dollars and public relations efforts traditionally over-look the youth market. Why? Because the sad reality is that election year after election year the percentage of eligible youth who actually register and vote is small when compared with other demographics. This doesn’t mean the youth market isn’t a force, just that it isn’t a main motivator in the drafting of campaign platforms and pre-election advertising. So, like any self-respecting rebellious young person the natural thing to do is go against the grain and do the unexpected. Keep them on their toes, shock them into the 21st century and get out and vote!

The biggest election issues often directly effect the youth of the nation.
The war in Iraq (young soldiers are the ones dying), education funding both public school and post-secondary, employment and job training programs, and reproductive rights issues are just a few of the current hot topics that directly effect the quality of your life RIGHT NOW. Think about the future and the world you will one day “inherit” from the power generation and you can add environmental concerns, fossil fuel consumption, farming and livestock funding (think the food supply is shrinking with every farm that can’t sustain itself) and the list just gets longer. Add any issues that are near and dear to your heart on a personal level and the list becomes a little overwhelming. Don’t vote and you effectively kiss away your ability to have any influence as to how these issues play out in your world, and dude, that’s just lame.

The only way democracy works is if citizens, young and old, are active participants.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, this one is an oldy, but hey let’s face it, it’s also a goody. A government by the people, for the people just can’t work without the people. This is a simple fact. Like a car without an engine, or a computer without a hard drive, a democracy without voters is just a shell and has no power. While it is easy to say “one vote doesn’t make a difference” the reality is that every vote counts… have you heard of Florida? Also you have to remember that as an individual your vote may seem to be little more than a whisper but when your vote is combined with the votes of others who share your views it becomes a voice and the more like-voters there are the louder that voice grows. So get out there and make the youth vote be heard.

If you don’t vote you really have no right to complain about government decisions you don’t like (no matter how much they actually suck).
OK, if there is one thing that is really annoying to us actual voters it is the endless ramblings on the bad political policy of a current government spewing from the mouths of eligible voters who never bothered to cast a ballot. If you don’t vote it is like saying you don’t care how your country is run, so if you don’t care where do you get the idea that you can complain when something happens that you don’t like? If you don’t vote you really have no right complaining about anything the government does and if your like most young people you like complaining and have it down to a fine art. Want the right to complain when TPTB (the powers that be) make a truly heinous decision? Then you must exercise your right to vote.

Bottom line: you should vote because you can.
Voting is a tremendous gift. Believe it or not, young people just like you in other countries actually fight and even die for this right; a right that so many youth in democratic nations take for granted. You should vote because you can, if you don’t you may one day wake up in a country where you can’t. It can (and has) happened. Enough said!