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One person, one vote – is only education enough?

When we talk about citizen’s right to vote, we think of a legally guaranteed right. A process when every voter appears at the polling station and by his own will and persuasion votes, that is, supports one of the proposed candidates to perform certain function. At that, he/she can choose to vote for neither of them. Certainly by his/her own persuasion the citizen might not appear at the polling station and not use his/her vote.

The proposed suggestions are completely acceptable unless some other citizen gets the idea to use the moment and in the name of the other, or others, votes. And if this phenomenon is acceptable and considered to be normal, then it is a really worrying factor. What strikes most is the thought that even those who should stop such actions, who proclaim democracy and convince citizens to go voting, approve these phenomena and consider them to be completely normal.    

To illustrate this, I would recall the example of a voter who, with five identity cards, votes for his five “relatives”, bows to a high commissioner of the international community and leaves. A logical conclusion that would result from this example is that he is convinced that he has done the right thing. I would also like to mention the statement given by a president of a political party, wherein he states that the phenomenon of one person voting for the whole family is normal and traditional. So can we, in such circumstances, talk about the rule one person-one vote?

Above all, we need to face the fact that we have a problem and it deeply undermines our ambitions to present ourselves in a light of a democratic country where law and laws rule. Then, we need to start solving it.

The solution to this, I would have to say not a naive problem at all, should be a sum of results of several complex activities. A serious debate about this subject is necessary, certainly followed by concrete further steps. Circumstances do not allow only making conclusions any more. They should also be implemented and therefore more comprehensive engagement of the concerned parties is necessary. Education of citizens, in direct contact with them, is the basis in direction of solving this problem. Active involvement of citizens in the elections, not only as voters, but also as a part of a process, which is the basis on which democracy should be upgraded, is more than necessary. And as the role of the political will in overcoming such condition is concerned, we probably needn’t talk about it. However, the question that will remain unanswered is: how to change their thinking?

It is not possible that “we” and the “others” have different standards, that is we see things differently, at that “we” are always right. Perhaps the “others” also know something and it will not be a bad idea to listen to them sometimes. For our own good.

 

(the author is president of the civil society association Most)

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