It was 20 years ago today, on a bright and sunny day that I put my cross on a ballot paper for the first time. Unlike many in our country, I was not prevented from voting in earlier elections and referendums because of skin colour. I was discriminated against because of age.
For a very long while I was angry that I could not vote in the 1992 referendum, but now in retrospect, I am not entirely sure where I would have put my cross. Retrospect and age often bring a different perspective on things and I am now firmly convinced that it was a very good thing that I was not allowed to vote in the 1992 referendum. I am in fact of the opinion that 18 is too young to vote. At all.
Very few people at 18 have any idea what they want to do with their lives. Most boys at that age think with their other brain and not with their grey matter, which means they either vote as they were raised by mommy and daddy, or they vote something radically different, just because they can. Do we really want to entrust decisions regarding the make-up of our government to such young people?
Secondly, I am also firmly convinced that voting should only be open to people with a certified triple-digit IQ. It is a fairly crude screening mechanism, I know, because IQ doesn’t really measure intelligence, but it does measure critical problem solving to some extent. That will hopefully eliminate voting fodder and the ability to buy a vote with a t-shirt and food parcel.
Thirdly, prisoners should not be allowed to vote. Through their actions, they have indicated that they do not have the well-being of this country at heart. If you were convicted and removed from society by our justice system, then you have waived your right to vote. Show some rehabilitation and we can talk again.
Fourthly, I am also firmly convinced that voting should only be open to the economically active part of our population. If you do not contribute to the economy, you should not vote.
My opinions might seem harsh, but it is my strong conviction that voting in an election is a privilege and not a right. That is why I should never be allowed to rule this country. I would make voting – to those who qualify – compulsory. Not voting should result in community service. People who do not take this privilege seriously should be punished. People who call for spoiled votes, should be locked up.Until my musings become reality, we have a country where everyone over the age of 18 is allowed to vote. Please vote, and encourage everyone you know to do the same. It is not only your right, but also a tremendous privilege.