In a week’s time Malawians will be going to the polls to elect local government councillors, members of Parliament and a president. The tripartite elections, dubbed watershed elections, is a chance for Malawians to elect leaders of their choice and also a chance to voice out their concerns through the ballot.
Voting not only enables you to vote for your preferred political leaders, but it also shows that you realise and understand the importance of citizenship. There are some people of who have said they many not vote come May 21 despite registering to vote because they think one vote will not make a change, but as a matter of fact, it does. A nation’s political foundations are built using elections.
One cannot begin to say they are for a democratic Malawi and refuse to take part in elections. Voting and democracy is very important in a nation because it provides people with an opportunity to voice their opinion and vote for what they believe in, it holds elected officials accountable for their behaviour while in office, and it prevents a minority from dictating the policies of a majority.
Apart from being a fundamental right of any Malawians citizen, voting is a basic process that keeps a nation’s governmental system under check and enables the citizens to choose their own representatives. By voting, through the representatives you choose, be it at local government level, Parliamentary and presidency, a citizen can also have a say in important issues and especially that affect one’s daily life.
If you registered to vote, make every effort to vote. Many people dismiss this responsibility by saying that they do not care about the issues on the ballot or that they are unfamiliar with the candidates up for election. However, by failing to use your privilege to vote, you will essentially allow other voters to make decisions for you, to let their voices be heard over your voice because you didn’t make any effort to go and vote. Imagine five years with a leader you detest and do not agree with in terms of their policy direction. Imagine five years with a leader who does completely the opposite of what you believe in. This is why you need to vote.
The outcomes of elections can impact one’s personal freedoms, taxes, and other aspects of daily life that are often taken for granted. Because of the far-reaching impact that an election can have, you as a responsible citizen, have the duty to cast your vote if you want a say in how your future plays out.
Your vote a powerful weapon that can down the corruption that has scarred Malawi. It’s a powerful tool that correct some of social ills that have come to characterise Malawi. If you want change, go and vote.