Having taken birth in a democratic country surely has its advantages. But there are certain legal rights and duties that we should perform as a responsibility with utmost diligence. The price is democracy is after all eternal vigilance. Is this your first time voting in your state or primary elections? Or do you want to have a deeper insight on which issues to considers while judging the standing candidates looking for votes? Well, we present you some issues you should consider before voting in an election;
Poverty is one of the key issues that matter the most when choosing a candidate. Poverty is often looked at as an advantage through the lens of political campaigns to buy votes through money and muscle power. Watchfulness towards similar systems should be practiced. Ask your candidate what are their policies and/or duties that they aim to deliver if elected to power. Politicians are often prepared with ready-made answers provided by their campaign team which will may same very bright but later on they fail to implement the same. Hold your candidate or elected representative campaigning for reelection accountable for their mistakes or lack of effective enforcement of policies.
Development, meaning positive growth, is one of the major results the general population expects to see in their locality, state, and country altogether. Efficient policies and goals are required for any substantial development to surface. You may see elected heads often conducting 100 days of policy implementation with certain objectives in mind. While these kinds of actions and policy-implementation have garnered positive support and results, we must remember a sign of development for us might not be the same as others. For instance, tribal lands are often snatched away in the name of development projects like dams and pipelines. Steps must be taken to prevent these detrimental measures of acts in the name of development from taking place. That is why while voting for a candidate in any election, you must make sure what developmental policies they seek to implement and if it poses as damaging towards a significant portion of the population.
Corruption is a major problem that has surfaced in every country at some point in time. One of the primary examples of the damaging aftermaths of corruption can be witnessed in the downfall of communist regimes like the USSR. Corruption is an act when elected representatives take bribes mainly from wealthy business owners and grant them indirect access to decision-making in the government. Bills and policies passed often begin to act as an advantage of the business conglomerates and the general population suffers. Farmlands taken out of the hands of farmers and given to business cooperation reflects an act of corruption in the underbelly. Often at times, crime is given a freeway to exist because of corruption. That is why being vigilant of contesting candidates’ assets is an observant step everyone should exercise.
The role of education in a country’s development is vast. Educated citizens not only make informed decisions but also uplift the social and economical condition of a place. Take a look at what the contesting candidates from your place are promising towards the development of the education sector. The positive growth of education may look different in every country. A promise to build schools in a developing and under-developing country may pose as an epitome of educational policies. Developed countries’ educational reforms may gear towards the advancement of curriculum and more scholarships. Whatever the education policies might be, present your queries about the same to your contesting candidates or their campaign team before making your decision on who to vote for.
Despite at what stage your country ranks in the development index, the problem of job scarcity and unemployment is bound to arise. As the population continues in most country’s around the globe, the corresponding number of jobs are steadily decreasing due to the introduction of technologies. Technology has of course not yet curbed the need for human efforts in the job market but the requirement has significantly decreased. At times like these, the government, i.e., elected representatives are expected to step up and stabilize the job market. Nepotism and other immoral methods to attain jobs must be curbed and sufficient support must be promised by the contesting candidates at-present to help small businesses grow.
The economy often acts as a mirror to the overall condition of a place. Various major factors influence the economic growth of a country such as financial stability, jobs, and ease of business. A strong economy is one of the major signs of a stable and functioning government. Put forward questions in front of the contesting candidates, asking them what they plan to do to garner investments, jobs, and produce substantial economic growth to the place.
Innovation in health, technology, education, and other sectors is compulsory to adapt to the changing nature of the world. The power to influence engines of innovations, which is ideas rests in the hands of the government. The government that is formed by elected representatives must take positive steps to elongate the span of the earth and ensure a stable life for all human beings. As challenges such as global warming and climate change appear as bigger threats with each passing day, scrutinize what the contesting candidates aim to do towards the growth of innovation and judge them accordingly before voting in the election.
Curbing crime rates is often one of the biggest issues that challenging candidates seem to campaign on. Crimes of various intensities are the main focus to curb for different countries such as terrorism, knife attacks, theft, and more. For instance, the President of the Philippines has shown a strong hand towards eradicating crime rates in the country. He has of course been criticized for the harsh steps the law enforcement has taken under his rules, which has lead to numerous deaths. Similar steps to control crime are wrong and against UN human rights rules. Hear what policies to restrict crime the contesting candidate seeks to implement and then make up your mind on who to vote for.
9. Health Care
One of the most key components of a developed country is sufficient Health care provided by the government. Take the case of the U.K. for example; the NHS seeks to provide free and universal healthcare to the whole country and has been successful in its efforts to quite an extent. That is why the NHS has often been hailed as a pride of the U.K. We are a point of civilization where asking for universal free health care is justified. Ask the contesting candidates from your place what acts they guarantee to implement to ensure the availability of free or affordable health care facilities to everyone.
10. Foreign Policy
From the beginning of civilization to now, no place has been able to attain optimum self-sufficiency on its own in the case of food, shelter, and other necessities for human survival. In the phase of globalization, we can not risk stand-offs and wars against other countries. Neither can we stay silent in the face of threats from foreign and/or neighboring countries. Thus, a few justifiable questions to ask your contesting candidates can be about foreign policies, global trade, international relations with other countries, and military preparedness.
11. Climate Change
Last but certainly not least, climate change is a major issue threatening the world right now. In recent years we have witnessed significant changes and unpredictability in climate around the world. Climate change is real and we should take precautions against it to ensure the survival of the human race. Like Mahatma Gandhi said ‘ There is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed’. Our future on this planet rests in the hands of our elected representatives in the short and long run. So make your choice on which candidate to vote for wisely and take into consideration their goals for a sustainable future in this world.
Voting is a gift that comes with a responsibility as we mentioned before. So we exercise voting to our advantage, not just for our selfish needs but the overall growth of society. Other major issues that you should consider while deciding on who to vote for are Gender equality, Freedom of the press, Freedom of expression, Ideology, Food security, Labour conditions, etc. Hold your elected representatives liable for their mistakes, and vote with wisdom next time. As the famous civil rights activist John Lewis said;
“The vote is precious. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society, and we must use it.”