Issue 423 September 15, 2019
Elections in a democracy have a way with people. They excite, motivate and make them realise that the ultimate power to make or break a political party rests in their mind and hand. And the ensuing local elections in New Zealand would be no exception.
There would be a difference, though.
For the first time perhaps, almost all political parties, major and minor, realise the importance of minority communities and the need to address their concerns. Which is why, despite remaining somewhat distant, all political parties at least woo the voting public.
This is also time to make your voice heard and in exercising your franchise, you would be helping to shape the policies and programmes in your own area.
Voter turnout is even more critical in the ensuing elections than ever before and the votes of
the Indian community can significantly alter the fortunes of candidates.
It is often argued that Indians will not vote if they feel that an election does not offer a chance of real change, what is termed a ‘mobilising election.’ Such change can come either from the candidates or from community leaders who can influence change.
Experience here and elsewhere has proved that when an election can make a difference, turnout rises. On that score, Local Elections 2019 could create history. It would determine the future direction of the local governments and local bodies.
Please make sure that you are enrolled in the electoral list (if not, do so forthwith), make sure you post your ballot papers or on October 12, 2019, drive to the polling station nearest to you and make sure you vote.
Most important of all, make sure you exercise the right choice.
It is only then you can raise your voice against those in charge.
For voting is not just a right, it is a responsibility.
You cannot claim the former until you have exercised the latter.