The South African national elections are looming around the corner and we hear of many reports and from people around us of disillusionment. Some wish to change their vote to another party while others choose to abstain from voting. This concerns me to the point where I cannot sit back and watch this unfold without making a few points that will hopefully make an impact on people's attitude towards voting. I am sensing a national depression that is overriding reason and hope. I'm using simple language because I'm just a simple person and I hope it's more understandable to more people.
Our right to vote, bestowed apon us by our constitution, can be the most powerful tool we will ever have in our hands to direct the future of our country. It is our duty as South African citizens to exercise this right and help everyone around us secure our future by choosing who we want to lead and represent us. I see the act of surrendering our right to vote for whatever reason as an act of betrayal. Why? Because if you choose not to vote you have betrayed your families and community by sending a message to them that you don't care who leads them and you accept that the leadership of your country can do whatever they want to you and them.
So now if you vote who would you vote for? Well here's a few points to help you with your decision:
What's the ideal for you, your family, and your community?
This is the most important question of all! It's a question I ask all the time in whatever I do, establish an ideal and then see how close I can get to it. To answer it properly you need co clear your head of all noise and leave only the image of you, your family and your home. Now what would be aREALISTIC ideal where the image in your mind is one of total content. I emphasize the word 'realistic' because if you are unrealistic you will be disappointed and only have yourself to blame for it. To be realistic you need to get honest with yourself on a personal level, this has nothing to do with anybody else. You need to establish your strengths and weaknesses and how you would fit best in a healthy economy be it a leader, business owner, professional, artisan. It would be unrealistic to expect your ideal image to come true if you do not fit into an economy and earn it. Now take a snapshot of that ideal and use it to help you decide on your country's future.
Is the current leadership ideal for you, your family and your community?
To get this right you HAVE to remove all emotion and sentiment from your mind and bear only that ideal snapshot you took. Now 2 things that's commonly required, apart from others, in everyone's ideal images are namely:
a healthy economy,
an efficient leadership
Now compare the way things are today to those 2 factors that will help you achieve your ideal.
Is the economy healthy?
This is an easy one to answer by answering this easy question:
Were you able to afford more with your income 4 years ago when the last elections were held?
It's that simple! A 'yes' to this question means that the economy is unhealthy because people with a shrinking disposable income means that they spend less which in turn means that less products are manufactured and sold which in turn means that the economy is shrinking. If your affordability is shrinking the economy is unhealthy and it would be wrong to vote for the current government because they will not see you close to your ideal realistic image.
Is the government efficient?
Here you need to look at factors that effect your ideal image directly, basic services is where to look:
Do you have a reliable supply of drinkable running water?
Do you have a reliable supply of electricity?
Do your children have access to a globally accepted quality of education?
Do you fear for you and your family's safety?
If the answers to these questions are not in line with your ideal image then do not vote for the current ruling party no matter how sentimental you may be about them! If you tolerate nonsense then you can only expect to get nonsense. Have no mercy with your vote and do not tolerate nonsense by voting for the party that has left you with even the slightest disappointment.
What's the ideal leadership for you, your family and your community?
So you have come this far because the answers to the previous questions have left your vote searching for the nearest ideal. The next thing would be to investigate each political party on the voting list and find the one whose ideals are closest to yours but YOU HAVE TO BE REALISTIC because there are political parties on the list that are unrealistic. That unrealism will chase away economy boosting foreign investment taking you further away from that ideal image in your mind. Unrealistic politicians will promise you the world but THEY WILL NEVER DELIVER! You need to be able to identify them from things they say in the news or on radio so be careful not to get caught in their traps. Vote for the party with realistic principals that best suits your ideals even if your emotions tell you otherwise!
We all agree that our country needs a good leader right? What is a good leader? Easy, someone that leads from the front but puts his/her country and it's people before him/her. Someone that's there fixing where the country hurts. Someone who is present, addressing the nation assuring them that everything is being done to secure their ideal images. Someone who resists temptation and will stand for what is right no matter how much pressure adversity bears down on him/her. Personally, I'm yet to see one. It is important that the presidential candidate of the party you vote for is a good potential leader.
If you feel intimidated to vote for a particular party then that's all the more reason not to vote for them. When being intimidated your constitutional right to freedom of choice is being taken away from you and that is DEFINITELY not part of your ideal image, but there is something you can do about it. Agree to the intimidation but vote for the leadership that is right for you and your family. Remember, when voting, your name is not on the ballot paper, all you do is make an 'X' next to the party that best suits your ideal image inside a private cubicle where you can't be seen. You the fold the paper so nothing can be seen and slip it into the ballot box which is now mixed up among other ballot papers. NOBODY can ever prove who you voted for. Afterwards if you are asked tell others what they want to hear, I promise you, they cannot prove anything!
If this message results in one more vote being cast then it was more than worth writing it. People PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE exercise your power to drive our country in the right direction! Our future is now, for a change, in our hands!