Vote and be counted

Elections to the council of the Chennai Corporation, the oldest Municipal institution in the country dating back to 1688, will be held today. Over 34 lakh voters will decide the fate of the 1,326 candidates contesting in the 10 zones of the Corporation. Unlike the assembly polls, the local body elections are largely fought between candidates and not political parties. Issues like a bridge or poor traffic arrangements or a new railway station often decide the fate of the candidate.

During the last local body polls held in 2001, about 65 per cent of the people of Chennai did not vote. Reasons for not voting are often a vague scepticism about the electoral process, lack of faith in politicians and a belief that corruption is too widespread for any good to come out of the system. Or because people simply cannot be bothered to leave their homes to vote.
Many of us do not know which ward we belong to or who our local councillor is. Nor are we aware what the poll issues in our ward are.
I, for example, live in Triplicane. I am not a registered voter in the city, but let’s assume that I am. Even then, I am blissfully unaware of what issues the councillors in my ward are fighting over to win the elections. As a person who is not affected directly by the result of the polls, I am not much bothered about the consequences of not voting. I may also believe I have nothing to directly gain from voting for a council.
What most of us (like me) who choose to stay away from the electoral process perhaps don’t understand is that we have a lot to lose by remaining sceptics. As educated citizens, we do have a say in the system. By voting we can use our right to influence it.
Today, do stand up and be counted. Please vote.

2 Comments so far

  1. Navneeth (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 2:12 pm

    [Literally]Just as I was reading this post, I received a call according to which there has been violence in some places. I can’t say for sure if it’s the truth, and of course it may not happen everywhere, but how could one expect people to go to the booths in the fear of losing some part of the body, or worse, their lives?

    Usually, we’re not deciding between Rama and Ravana, but betweeen Ravana/Shoorpanaka and Kamsan. So who’s the better of the two?

  2. suppamani (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 11:04 am

    ” ERYARA KOLLIYIL ENTHA KOLLI NALLA KOLLI ” all birds are of the same tree; a way to be found out to send out all these politicians and to bring the real well wishers who can do best for the citizens and city ; When by 7-30 Am on the election day I had been to the booth and to my surprise( never expected so early) I was told my vote was already casted and for my other questions to give me the required forms to cancel the bogus vote to correct the mischief the officers there are not co-operative very much and I returned home dosappointed since I was not for orguing with the Poll Agents and to risk my life since I have not yet prepared my will so far;;

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