I’m going to vote. Who’s with me?

I’ve always had a unique fondness for elections. This is not due to my love and regard for democracy. Nor is it because of my confidence in our country’s electoral system. Far from it.

It is due to the late night PTV transmission during elections. I remember many a night (elections used to be a very frequent thing, remember?) sitting in front of the TV watching the results come in from God-knows-where, and rooting for God-knows-who. Watching the colourful transmission, trying not to fall asleep, was my contribution to the electoral process.

Well they’re here again. And this time I can actually vote. Finally, I am able to exercise my right to choose. Finally, I am able to contribute with my values and principles towards the greater good of my country. A fact that should make my chest puff with pride. Yeah right!!

The truth is that I don’t believe that my contribution is enough. You may go on with the whole drop and the sea bit, but the attitude of the people around me is very distrustful. I can understand why this is so, but that doesn’t make it right. We can go on moaning about “dictators” and “democracy”, but when the time comes for us to actually get off our back-sides and do something, we back off. The most common reason being:

They’re all crooks.

I say no they’re not. Not everyone can be crooks. Look beyond the faces in posters, with big-name backgrounds. The biggest problem with our electoral system is the misconception, that the elections are a competition. Everybody wants to back the winning horse. Our voters want to vote for the winning guy. And if they don’t agree with the dominant candidate they don’t vote. Nobody wants to vote for the loser. This isn’t what democracy is all about Democracy is about having the right to choose. Choose the guy you think is right. He may not win. But at least you made a choice. Then, maybe a day will come when there will be enough like minded people to get your point of view through.

The ballots will be cast tomorrow. Many of our countrymen will go out and exercise their right to choose. Many will do so for the wrong reasons. But atleast I wont be one of them. I’ll vote tomorrow, because I can. I am blessed with the right to choose. The right many around the world crave. Then I can hold my head up high and criticize what ever goes wrong. Atleast I tried to do something about it. I’m going to vote. Who’s with me?

10 Comments so far

  1. fatal1ty (unregistered) on February 17th, 2008 @ 6:10 pm

    vote for the crook who you think will steal lesser than compared to the others.

  2. MB (unregistered) on February 17th, 2008 @ 7:18 pm

    The question : I’m going to vote. Who’s with me?

    The answer: The ALMIGHTY ALLAH & our prayers

  3. wk (unregistered) on February 17th, 2008 @ 9:49 pm

    Wish you all the best !
    May Allah Protect PK from Evils Amein.

  4. nuzhat (unregistered) on February 18th, 2008 @ 6:04 am

    I am voting today.

  5. Rizwan Elahi (unregistered) on February 18th, 2008 @ 9:30 am

    Today Feb. 18,2008 is a election day in Pakistan. longlivepakistan.com has decided to endorse MQM based on their recent statements. If we talk about past lets also talk about Nawaz Sharif who made us believe that Zardari was Mr. 10% and was a bad man. Today he walks with him and shakes hands with him. Then in every speech Nawaz Sharif was threatening present rulers. This is not promising and not inline with the interest of Pakistan. But MQM has shown the most responsibility in last many months. They have used each word in all statements which is inline with the interest of Pakistan. I pray they do not make the mistakes they have made in past and they will not let Pakistan down. When Pakistan is going through hard time who needs to hear Nawaz Sharif talking about going after the people one’s he dislike. Before he goes after others and try to destabilize Pakistan he should clear his name. Pakistan is almost under attack by the enemy all Nawaz Sharif is worried is about his personal grudges.

    For God sake vote for the people who talk about the good of Pakistan and unity of the people of Pakistan. People who are showing real effort in making changes for the good.

  6. KAMI (unregistered) on February 18th, 2008 @ 9:52 am

    SHAHAB good for you and the country. A few screwed up ideologs dont want us to vote, and even kill to ensure that. A nation cannot be held for ransom by a crazy few, so vote because its the only way forward, make it a habit and dont loose it.

  7. sipher (unregistered) on February 18th, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

    i think as a pakistani we should cast our vote for the goodwill of the country…….because the thing is that it is we who can change the system and we have to do it……….

  8. KAMI (unregistered) on February 18th, 2008 @ 8:55 pm

    SHAHAB so far so good. It seems quite a few of your country man went to polls with you. The people have done their job despite all the hype and fear. Its now upto the Poll Administrators and our Politicians to deal judiciously with the post poll counting and result announcement process.

    I am keeping my fingers crossed.

  9. Wedge (unregistered) on February 18th, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

    Thanks Shahab for your insight. I also ultimately decided to cast my vote. Democracy, whatsoever crooked it may be, is still the best option.

  10. mansoor (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 12:00 am

    good post shahab! Very inspiring!

    who did u vote for btw?

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