According to official figures, voters turn out in 2013 General election was 55.02% as compared to 44.23% in 2008. Of course, there was a wave of theme called “Tabdeeli” which started in October 2011 and reached to peak till the General Elections held on 11th of May, 2013.
If we look around past trend, there was an average of just above 40% of votes polled during the democratic history of Pakistan. That means still more than half of our population do not come out and cast their votes, or perform their national duty. These numbers raise a significant question as to whether a common man really bothers about their aspiring leaders.
Forget about who is right or who is wrong? Who has delivered or who should be given chance to deliver? If the vast majority of eligible voters do not think that their vote can really bring change to their, then how come fate of this country would take a turn?
With less than a month left in Elections 2018, a graph of political activities has started to get steeper with every single passing day. All the political forces have commenced their campaign and are making strategies to get the ultimate results in their favor. Every party either selling their performance of the past or selling their manifesto/objectives as to what they would give to people if they get to the power. That is where the problem comes which needs to be addressed.
In Pakistan, people have general perception regarding polls is that “What would we get if we cast our vote” or “Our vote cannot change anything” etc. This thinking reflects the majority of our country and this thought process need to be diminished. Ways are to be exposed and more involvement must seek to restore the faith in the electoral process.
In our history, indeed there is a lack of good governance across the board. Each and every institution has lagged way behind for their assumed responsibilities, which has been the main reason for deterrence towards elections.
Therefore, it is a high time to set our direction right. Confidence must be given to the nation that electoral process is the only way, to get back on track. Electoral reforms, strong local government system and rule of law across the board are fundamental ingredients which need tremendous attention. It would also restore the eroded confidence of Pakistani nation in the system which is decayed at the moment.
On contrary, if we let this faulty system to go forward, the majority of the voting population will remain aloof of the election activity. This would ultimately result in the election of those candidates who are either against the betterment of this country or incompetent to lead the country. We would have to bear the consequences of weak democracy and dream to be on the list of a developed nation.