Thursday, May 06, 2010


Listening to: 'Gorillaz Special' on Zane Lowe [Radio 1]

My poll card

So I voted. For the first time. Ever. And can I just say, what an exhilarating feeling! There's something empowering about knowing that you just played a part in the future of the country.

It's also kinda scary. I mean, what if I've made the wrong choice? What if the party I voted for does a Hitler? What if they do nothing? What if they're crap? In that respect, I'm glad that I'm just one of many that cast their vote today.

I watched the three leaders' debates, weighed up the pros and cons of each party, and made my choice. It was difficult to find a party I wholly agreed with, or a party I wholly disagreed with. So I adopted what I learned from elections in Uni - single transferable voting. I think I chose the party that best represents my views, and is most likely to carry out my mandate. We shall see.

Going back to the issue of being one voter of millions. If the party I voted for gets elected, great! If they don't get elected, also great! It won't be a time to throw my toys out of the pram, or to cry 'foul', or to blame the system. It will, however, be a time to celebrate the fact that the people have spoken. We have to live with other people's decisions every day - government is no different. At least here we have a say. And if my preferred party ends up in the opposition, at least they can work to ensure that the ruling party doesn't mess up too bad!

I am thankful that government in this country works. It's not perfect, but it's not broken either. And the people care. I might disagree with some of them, but that's ok. We all want what's best for the country. And that is something worth celebrating. Something to be proud of. And I am.


  1. Yay for voting! :D

    And I think this is the most positive post about democracy I've ever read. And that makes me sad. Means something's broken in the system here. :(

  2. Yay indeed! :D

    Well I'd say there are at least two things broken in the system in SL - 1) there's no opposition worthy of the name and 2) the majority of voters don't understand what they're voting for. Elections are not all-or-nothing races...they're about deciding who plays what role in the future of the country. Too many people assume that if you 'lose' the election, it's all over. In fact, the 'losers' have a very important role to play. Until our people and politicians realise and understand that, I don't think we can have a system that works.

  3. I think the constitution itself is fundamentally broken. The president has the right to desolve an unruly (in his/her PoV) parliament at any time (after the mandatory 1 or 2 years). The executive branch has too much power, and the ruling party in parliament has too much power. Just ask Wijayadasa Rajapakse about how hard it is to battle corruption and other government malpractices when you're stuck in the opposition, and this in no way is related to the power the opposition has...

    So if you lose the elections here, you might as well shut up and wait 6 more years! :D

  4. There are massive flaws in the constitution, yes, but even a good constitution would be useless if the people of the country don't know how to use it.

    Wait 6 more years and do what? Lose again? Has the so-called opposition done anything since the last election (not the one just finished, I mean before that) to give the people any reason to support them? My knowledge of our post-colonial history is patchy, but from what I gather, the Mrs. B-led period was not used by JR to just 'shut up and wait'; instead it was used to garner so much support for the UNP that it completely thrashed the other parties in the 77 elections. The fact that what followed is what got us into this mess in the first place is interesting, but irrelevant in this case.

    I don't see why the current opposition can't learn from their master and realise that it's not just about hurling abuse at each other in parliament; it's about getting out there and connecting with the people, and preparing to rule. I'm not saying it's easy (and I accept that malpractices and corruption make it very difficult), but running a country isn't supposed to be easy, no?

  5. Have to agree. No one person can be blamed for the current political situation. Everyone is to blame, the government, the opposition, the people who voted government and the people who voted opposition.

    I think as for the opposition, they need to figure out what they want and how they are going to approach it. Also they need to put aside egos and personal vendettas and work with a common consensus. They need to convince people of a reason to vote for them.

    I remember the first time I voted. Was a great feeling, because I believe in the 'don't complain if your not gonna do anything about it' attitude. And I knew regardless of if the person I voted for won or not, I had done my part.

    Yay for voting!!!


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