Grandma's Tales

February 17, 2007

To vote or not to vote – again

Filed under: Games People Play,Society — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 10:39 am

I’m still mulling over this question. May be you are too. I thought I’d go over the happenings in the last few months to help me decide.
[1] The horrifying memories (experiences?) of the October polls.
[2] The total indifference of the State Election Commission since then. The incompetent handling of the situation by the police.
[3] The judgment in the Madras High Court and the re-ordering of polls.
[4] Mass resignation by councillors and announcement of re-polls.
[5] Mayor Subramaniam is out and cannot seek re-election. (According to the Chennai city Municipal Corporation Act.)
[6] The Assembly is convened, a bill introduced to change the law.
[7] The resignation is now accepted allowing the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to seek re-election. (Was public opinion sought on any of this? No.)
[8] Anyway, direct elections to the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor had been cancelled earlier. This means, a non-political, non-party person cannot even contest the posts. And if those “elected” failed to toe the official line, they can be dismissed by a simple notification. Whoever did all this is/are terribly sure they alone would win all subsequent city elections. How come?
All this is not to say unsavoury things did not happen before. But nothing, nothing can ever justify cheating, intimidation and violence. To me that is cowardice. If you are sure of winning, you stand back and watch people come and vote for you whole-heartedly. You should have the confidence what you have done will win the trust and support of the people in your constituency. Politicking is fine, but it should not be so empty. I believe there is essential decency in most people who go out to vote. Honest, sincere work will not go unappreciated. It should not.
Inference: No one cares whether I vote or not. But my Catalyst friend tells me I should vote. You should go and tell them you have no faith in any of the candidates, he said. (None-of-the-above option) Voting should become a habit, said another friend. Do “tactical voting” and keep out the worst, he said. My friends and family? “Disillusioned”, “exercise in futility”. And more ominously, “You ask for that form and you will go down on their record as a troublesome character. You never know what theat means.” The result of watching Tamil movies and serials, I guess.
So do I vote? I still have a day to decide. “Sherlock Holmes” is on. I need to go.


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