By Rehman Malik
Vote is base and integral part of democracy. You can say, no vote-no democracy. The value and prestige of vote is foremost and prime. The definition of vote is that in a democracy, a government is chosen by voting in an election: a way for an electorate to elect, i.e. choose, among several candidates for rule. In a representative democracy voting is the method by which the electorate appoints its representatives in its government. These days the media is discussing the misuse of “the vote” and that the vote itself is the real victim of today in the hands of its caster.
Let me introduce myself; my name is “the vote” and I am centuries years old and used to elect people’s representatives, in different stages in different countries, to work and struggle for their cause. My value is very scientific and mathematical and I am casted throughout the world by families, businesses, counties and beyond. I become the deciding factor if used prudently. I bring people’s popularity and can defame too. I create public opinion of what is good and what is bad. My prudent use depends on my master. I am single and I am always loyal to my master and I have no ability to be used without the consent of my only master. I am not private property of anyone but work for both majority and minority to decide their fate. I am sometimes misused and my misuse brings lot of injustice in the societies. My blatant misuse and abuse produces corrupt and incompetent politicians and rulers as well while my just use brings honest and competent rulers who lead the countries to progress and prosperity. When used by the greedy and corrupt elements, huge monetary value is attached to me before I am pushed into a box. I feel worst when my master is greedy and dirty, as my use in his hand will bring me bad name. I create the legislative houses to produce constitutions and legislate the laws for the benefits of those who cast me through good governance. My strength and importance depends on the conscious of my masters who use me for betterment or otherwise in the given situation regardless he used me for business, government or Parliament. I am considered as a might and used according to dictates of my masters.
My value and effectiveness come into force when I am pushed into a box or a computer click, which become a deciding factor within this democratic world. I am the one who sets the numerical game and sets the course of success or failure with my might. My misuse can be lethal when I am on sale by my masters and I become an unwilling victim of the evil desires of my masters. My pride is my prudent use, which brings qualitative changes in the nations. I am even misused worldwide and I have no choice to say NO.
In Pakistan, price tag to my prestige was first attached when a political party of the opposition tried to use me to oust a democratically elected government through a ‘No Confidence’ motion. Thereafter, my sale continued unabated by all the politicians for their own benefits without caring for my own prestige and dignity. My prestige as vote was terribly hurt in Pakistan recently which is much talked about in the media. I have been a victim of my misuse in Pakistan by my masters and some others who, through forgery and deceit, had often made me suffer through rigging to get their desired results. My sufferings and this injustice was never looked into seriously in the past and my voice got suppressed with powerful noise and influential of mighty misusers. My lovers may lose faith in my “might” as I have become a saleable commodity and one gets me who bids the highest for me. I have been wounded with a bruised face in the hands of my own masters whom I had once helped to win the elections of the provincial assemblies. I am hearing lot about nice horse trading under my name, and there is a chance that I will be once again be hurt and bruised by these greedy masters whose faith is not in the pride but dirty money. My bidding was done openly in all of Pakistan but no protector of mine came to my rescue; although the greedy and unconscious masters sold me out against my wish in the open bazar. Will the authorities ever take a notice of me as a victim having lost my pride and my face, which has been defaced with their greed for dirty money? I hope my voice will not be suppressed any more through newly printed currency notes and my masters will not be eagerly looking forward to putting me to bidding in the future. I appeal to give me my pride back and restore my confidence and get this dirt and dirty money out of my face. Save my pride by restoring my value and save Pakistan.
I, as the vote , demand that all those my masters who had sold me out by hurting my pride must be now punished to save me for further sale and people start losing confidence in me. Will all the political parties consider take legal action against some of my greedy owners to restore my pride?
(The writer is a PPP Senator, former Interior Minister of Pakistan and Chairman of think tank “Global Eye” and Senate Body on Interior and Narcotics.)
By Rehman Malik