Pakistan – The Path (Prefix: Psycho-) to Democracy…

Google Pakistan.

And few of the results in the news section will include a suicide attack, a failing economy, violation of borders, energy crisis, food insecurity etc…

Surely one wonders is that all Pakistan has been left with?

On February the 18th, the Pakistani public came out to vote. But when one inquires friends, colleagues, and strangers whether they casted the vote… ? Majority say they did not.

So who voted for those elected today? According to official statistics, less than 44% of the total voters participated. So even if the elections are fair, they do not truly represent the public.

That is where mandatory voting laws come into play.

Researching countries with mandatory voting laws I found out that in Ancient Greece – where the concept of democracy originates, it was every citizen’s duty to vote.

I came across the following while trying to ascertain arguments in favor and against mandatory voting:

  • …. where advocates of compulsory voting might argue that such a system has a higher degree of representation, some supporters of voluntary voting assert that low voter participation in a voluntary election is itself an expression of the citizenry’s political will: it indicates satisfaction with the political establishment in an electorate. Unqualified generalizations of this sort should be treated carefully however, as low voter turn out could be interpreted by others to indicate voter dissatisfaction or general political apathy…
  • freedom and responsibility go hand-in-hand, and there is no greater responsibility in a democracy than voting. That is how we come to SHARE responsibility for the government we elect. Under our present system we can end up with leaders who not only receive less than a majority of the total votes cast … the votes they do receive can actually represent but a small fraction of those ELIGIBLE to vote…

So which one is the case in Pakistan?

But before I let you ponder more on that thought – here’s a fact that may be interesting to consider while assuming that such a “law” in Pakistan should be implemented.

There have been less than 5 Judges in Pakistan’s 61 years of independence who have not taken oath under a violation of the Pakistani Constitution.

And the story of the violation of the Constitution… Perhaps some other day we shall explore that topic also…

For now … Let us continue to celebrate the victory of democracy in Pakistan, a state hit by terrorism, economic meltdown, and lawless-ness…


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