Why I Vote, And Why You Should Also Vote

Feature Article Why I Vote, And Why You Should Also Vote
DEC 5, 2020 LISTEN

Listen, but do not let your voice be drowned. This is one of the statements you kept telling us in our formative years, great Agyaaku. You encouraged us to make our voices heard in any dialogue, even as we also listen. Nana, you told us to take part in any decision making we are allowed to. Yours was that we should not be worried about the acceptance or otherwise of our decision or the decision we support. Letting our voice heard and our decision known is what matters. I am grateful for that direction, Nana.

This has helped me in my adult life. I do not shy away from expressing my opinion. I do not also forfeit any opportunity to take part in a decision making process. Elections are no less a part of this culture you inculcated in us, Agyaaku.

I have never refused to partake in elections since I attained voting age. I have not just voted. I have also performed observatory and representative functions, Nana. Not always has my preferred candidate won, but I have always fell proud casting a vote. I know that makes you proud, Agyaaku. One thing we also learnt from you is that we should not always seek for our parochial interests in taking decisions. We should think about others in making decisions, including electoral decisions. So in voting, I always ask myself: what will my vote fetch me and the general public?

Nana, deciding who and what to vote for has always been influenced by certain factors. I remember in my first time casting a vote, you sat me down and told me to always vote for a candidate of my choice, using my head. As a teenager then, I truly did not understand that statement. As I grew, I understood it, Agyaaku. You abhorred inducement, Nana. You thought us to also do same. You gave us a reason for that. Yes, I remember all that. Inducement is a way of shutting us from criticizing when the time arises. It is an attenuation of the induced person’s ability to criticize the inducer.

As a result, I have done exactly that time and over again, when elections are due. I have always seen my vote as a trade-off of my power to a fellow citizen to steer the affairs of the country over a stipulated time. I thus see my vote as too precious to be bought by money or any form of inducement, Agyaaku. But I still trade it off. In exchange I look at what the candidate and his party plans to offer, giving the nod.

High on my checklist is education, Nana. You know what education has done for your grandkids. I need not bother you with it. The benefits of education are so enormous that speaking about it will take us a whole day. But educational offers that especially better the lives of the poor will always attract my vote. It is a way of bettering our collective future. We stand to gain hundred folds of what we invest in our people through education. Hence, I hold it in high esteem in deciding my vote, Agyaaku.

Second on my list is health. Health is wealth, yes. I consider people-centred health policies when casting my vote, Nana. Policies on healthcare availability and accessibility are what I look for before giving my nod. Under the proposals, which one will make healthcare available and accessible to the people, most importantly the poor? That influences my choice, Agyaaku.

Employment creation is another factor I look at in voting. Who presents policies that enable businesses to thrive and create avenues for employment? It could be offers of tax reliefs, energy availability and sustainability at a reasonable cost, and many others. Also, who plans to employ citizens into the public sector to bring efficient and effective functioning of the public sector?

We all need food to survive. So I consider policies that inure to the benefit of farmers and the agricultural sector as well, Nana. You and your family are a big part of this sector, Agyaaku. These are all what I consider in making a choice of a candidate. We

All these and a few more are the considerations I make in casting my vote. I know my choice influences the future of our country: my future and the future of millions of others, including the unborn. So I take voting seriously.

One important thing worth considering in voting is the past, Agyaaku. Has the candidate or the political party held the position before? What did they do when they had the power? Is it worth giving them my vote again looking at their track record? These questions I ask and seek answers using my voting checklist, Nana.

One thing that saddens me is people who refuse to vote, Agyaaku. Looking at how people fought and are fighting in some parts of the world to be allowed to vote, I see no reason why someone will have the opportunity and not use it. Some refuse to vote because to them, all politicians are the same: liars, inconsistent, self-wealth-seeking, non-keepers of promises, etc. Others do not vote because they did not personally gain from an administration or a candidate. To some, it is a religious decision not to vote. Have they forgotten how Matthias was chosen after the exit of Judas Iscariot form the apostles, you asked, Agyaaku? I cannot fault them. It is their personal decision. They are entitled to.

But I think that is a disservice to themselves, other citizens, the entire country and the unborn generation. I will plead with such people to vote, at least for the benefit of the future and generations unborn. Also, they can use their vote as a way of demonstrating against the ruling candidate or the opposition candidate.

As I said earlier, for my entire adult life I have voted, Nana. Twice I have come from Amanone to cast my vote. But thanks to the corona virus and covid-19, I cannot vote this year. It pains me I am not having a chance to express my opinion. I pray all those eligible will put differences aside and cast a vote. Truth is whether they do or not, so long as Ghana exists and the 1992 constitution is in place, there will be parliamentarians and a president to choose every 4 years. Some people will vote to fulfil that. And who they settle on will affect you the one who did not vote, will it not, Nana?

So like you advised me, I will also advise and encourage everyone to vote, Agyaaku. They should look at those who are on the ballot, what they have to offer and subject it to a checklist. That will inform them about who to vote for. The person may win or lose; you the voter will feel proud you voted. By voting, you secure your moral right to commend or criticize who wins when the need be, whether it is your preferred candidate or not. Your conscience will be at peace with you for doing that.

I vote. I cannot stop voting, as long as I am allowed to. You should also vote, always. It is the only way we steer the fortunes of Ghana together. This is what I have for our fellow countrymen, Agyaaku. Please have a good time as you wait for Monday, 7 December to cast your ballot. Peace!!

Mesan aba biem!!!

Written by:

Clement Boateng

Consultant/Founder - ClemBoat Consult

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Email: [email protected]

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