Making your voice heard, and taking part in deciding on how your country will be run is an important and crucial part of a civil society. One of the best and easiest ways to do that is through elections.
Voting allows registered citizens to cast their choice for the political candidate they believe in
The scheduled date for the upcoming general elections is 25th July 2018. Hopefully, all of you who are 18 and above have their vote registered! Some may believe that it may not be a big deal if they don’t vote, however it is. It’s time we stop thinking our vote or our voice doesn’t matter and take part in making Pakistan a country. Through voting and taking part in the elections, we not only make our voice heard but play a role in how this country will be run. We the people, through voting, choose who will govern our state, which will then affect our education, health, taxes. etc.
The voter turnout will represent how invested the people of Pakistan are in the political process of their country.
We are the youth of our country, and we need to set a precedent for the upcoming generation in taking a full part in elections. The youth are also much greater in number in Pakistan than the older aged people, thus we can make a change. Since voting is a great way to rule out anyone who hasn’t played a positive role in the area you are residing it, it allows you elect those candidates that will contribute in making your society better. By voting responsibly, we elect candidates that will shape the future of our respective constituencies.
The citizens of a country determine how prosperous that country will be. Through spreading awareness, being civil, exercising our voting rights, we are all playing a role in making Pakistan that much more progressive. At the end of the day, we owe it to ourselves to take the responsibility of picking out our leaders, candidates that will represent us and put forward our problems and point of views when they’re making laws and implementing them.
However, your vote is a huge responsibility, so don’t just give it to anyone.
Getting yourself registered was the easy part, here comes the actual bit. Every citizen has two votes, one for our National Assembly, which is our central government, and one for the provincial assembly, for the province you live in. Two different people from each party would be standing from each post, and you can decide to give it to the same party, or even a different one if you’d like. So, how do you decide? You can do your research on different political parties and their members.
Make sure the person/party you decide to vote for has actually invested in your district, they’ve kept their promises, done productive work that has proved helpful and useful for everyone
For example, if they have said they will repair a road, or fix something as simple as a streetlight, have they? You can find this out by contacting your local governments through their respective websites. You can ask any questions relating to your respective area (except questions relating to defense and safety) because you have a “Right To Know”, as per our constitution. You can also go on National Assembly’s official website and take a look at which party has passed what laws in the 2013-2018 regime. Lastly, simply reading articles and debates relating to the candidate/party will also help you gain knowledge about them.
For example, my constituency is NA 125, my constituency’s main candidates are said to be Maryam Nawaz for Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz and Dr. Yasmeen Rashid for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, I can begin to do my research on them. Just because I favor a particular political party, doesn’t mean I will cast my vote to the person standing up for that party in my constituency. I will give my vote to the member I know who has been the most productive, in my area, regardless of the party they’re affiliated with.
Read party manifestos, so you know what the future may hold when that party wins.
A party manifesto is a guide to the policies each party plans to introduce if they’re in power, they’re available online, usually on the party’s website. This is an example of a party manifesto.
A party manifesto is another way of getting to know the party, their opinions, and their beliefs, thus, it can further help us decide who to vote for. As the party’s plan for the next five is written in their manifesto, the people can hold them accountable for it. We have what they promised in writing, and we can officially demand it from them once they come in power.
Figure out which manifesto speaks to you. Does the manifesto have something you support and are rooting for? Have they been consistent in the past with serving their constituency? Most importantly, has this person/party been using the parliament effectively? Do they attend sessions and discuss important matters on public interest in the National Assembly/Provincial Assembly? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before you cast your vote!
Now, with all of this research and knowledge you hold, the only thing you can do is to go speak your mind! All you have to do is go to the polling booth on the day of the elections and vote. You do not have to tell anyone who you’re voting for. Don’t be forced by anyone or feel bad about who you vote for, it’s everyone’s personal choice!
Remember, voting is your decision – not your family’s or friends’. You may feel as if you have to vote for a certain political party just because your family is associated with it, but you really don’t. That’s your vote remains anonymous, so you won’t feel as if your under any pressure when you’re voting.
Voting is great responsibility every citizen holds, use it wisely. Think clearly, because whoever wins will govern our homeland for the next 5 years!
We keep talking about change and wanting to build a better country. Well, we have that power so let’s put it to good use. Let us know which party manifesto you’ll be looking forward to reading! Are you still confused about the process? Share it with us in the comments.
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cover image via dawn.com