In a democracy, full or flawed, every citizen has the freedom of choosing their representatives who are supposed to look after the interests of the country as well as channelling the aspirations of the voters. Democracy, in the true sense of the word is when every vote counts. Unfortunately an undesirable situation might arise when the majority of the voters is of a certain persuasion or status such as low education and their poor choices influence the outcome of the election.
You may then get generally poorly educated voters sending an undeserving person to the august house of parliament. If many of these successful candidates are of a similar kind, you may end up, God forbid! getting hopeless representatives cum lawmakers/policy-makers.
Therefore it is important that each contesting party choose not only so-called winnable candidates but those with education and integrity. If the electorate is not really bothered as to who they send to the seat of political power, the repercussions would not be good for the country as a whole.Such as the power of democracy that some leader opined that an uneducated person should be counted as one vote and an educated person should be assigned with two to three votes each so as to counter the effect of a thoughtless choice!
Look at India, the greatest democracy on earth in terms of number of voters; yet look at the problems she is facing with regards to poverty,wealth distribution and power as well as corruption which is said to be rampant. The political representatives are elected by the very people suffering all these undesirable socio-economic conditions. What happens during the process of an election? People could be bought for voting in certain candidates and due to poverty, many are uneducated and fail to choose the right candidates or the so-called “right” party. Most people vote along party line, ignoring the poor personal attributes of the local party candidate who may not be able to represent them effectively.
Democracy has a high index in countries such as Norway and Sweden where educational level is high and people choose according to the virtues of the candidates. Representatives are more visionary because they normally stand for passion to serve and not to exploit their positions like many in this country. In this country you see the politics of nepotism being played out. You don’t see this in the UK for example otherwise the sons of the likes of Margaret Thatcher would be leading the Conservative Party today.
My post today is actually in response to PM Najib’s contention that it is taboo to change the government in the next 13th General Election as the country is, according to him, doing rather well. But democracy, in all its glory, gives the people the power to determine whom they want and there is definitely no taboo in that freedom and consequently no taboo if they decided to change the government.
Having been in power since Independence in 1957 has made the ruling ethnic-based parties (National Front Coalition) more entrenched in certain negative practices and the country does need to see some cleansing of the rots that have built up over 50 years.
In the United States of America and the United Kingdom, changes of government have always been smooth. People understand the will of the majority. The leader of the losing party, in fact, would come out publicly to congratulate the victor. You may not observe the same scenario in Malaysia as politicians are more concerned about their own interests rather than those of the people and country.
Would there be a post-election socio-political upheaval if there were a change of government in Malaysia?