Last update: 10-Dec-2013 1:40 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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The Precious Right To Vote
The right to vote is the freedom to have a say in who will govern. Admittedly, voting does not guarantee us there will be no corruption, incompetence, bad public service and irresponsibility by whichever party voters elected. However, it gives us the freedom to remove people who fit such descriptions and reject aspirants whom we perceive epitomise most unsuitable leadership qualities.
About 43 per cent of the electorate voted in the recent local government elections which was an improvement over the 39 per cent in 2010, but 26 per cent less than the 69 per cent who voted in the 2010 national election. In the absence of hard evidence of why so many voters defected from voting, it is reasonable to assume they did not believe that Local Government could make a difference in the quality of their lives, and/or no contestant was an appealing option.
Of course many people simply do not vote. Local Government should be more relevant to citizens than central government, but historically, citizens have not treated the former with the same level of importance, primarily because the centre is powerful and controls the allocation of resources. To the average citizen, regional corporations are not empowered with the requisite expertise and resources to make a meaningful difference in their lives.
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