We have forgotten that eternal vigilance is the price of
democracy!! Just as things can go wrong in a home or office
or business or industry if there is no proper supervision,
things can also go wrong in a country if the 'managers' are
not monitored and held accountable.
Justice Louis Brandeis said, "The most important office
in a democracy is the office of citizen".
We have been happily hurling blame on corrupt politicians
and inept officers for the problems facing 'we the people'.
In a few days we will have to elect our corporators and city
Mayor. It is very tempting to sit back and say ' I am not
very impressed with any of the candidates.' Or 'there is very
little any elected representative can do under such chaotic
conditions. There is no point in wasting my time'. May be
things have come to such a pass because we sat back for too
long and allowed things to slide.
We just to have to remember that in a democracy the ultimate
responsibility lies with the citizen. So let us start the
reform process now. We shall all make the effort to go and
vote - and choose the best of the available candidates.
Remember, a party is often a label of convenience to get
elected to power. If you have to choose between a party and
a candidate, opt for the better candidate. A bad candidate
does only harm, and he may defect anyway.
Should you feel 'there is no way I am going to vote for any
for them', then instead of abstaining you could go and mark
an 'X' across the ballot paper. By doing so you will be achieving
two objectives - you have not only expressed your displeasure
about the choice of candidates but also prevented impersonation.
If after all this preparation you find that your vote has
already been cast, please establish your identity with an
appropriate identification document and seek a tendered ballot.
Because of the relentless effort of Lok Satta, the SEC has
directed that there shall be a repoll if there are more than
2% tendered votes in any polling booth. Tendered votes are
sure proof of impersonation and rigging.
Once elections are over, our job is not done. Maybe it has
just begun. Many of the candidates participated in debates
and made tall promises. Once elected, they will surely come
up with alibis for nonperformance. We should persevere in
our endeavours for the implementation of Citizen's Charters,
Right to Information, and creation of Ward Committees. All
these are excellent tools for empowering citizens, fighting
corruption and improving services. We cannot let one more
opportunity pass by. Let us go out and vote.