To cover the surface level of the topic, an election is a formal process where we select a person to sit in public office. This also includes accepting or rejecting their manifesto by voting. This is where it’s wise to research the backgrounds behind each political figure to find out if they would seriously deliver their manifesto or not. Some are familiar with the works of political figures, some don’t. Additionally, most elections are almost competitive, but many countries keep it formal. In some cases, a party is not allowed to be in the election due to compromise.
How Elections Came To Be
The election has been around for a very long time. The concept has existed since ancient Athens in Rome and when popes, as well as Holy Roman emperors, are being selected. In this modern world, the elections can be dated back to the 17th century when there was a need to select government officials in Europe and North America (NA). Hence, instead of a holistic notion from the Middle Ages, it transformed into an individualistic concept. Thus the leader will be the representative and leader of the government. The government also received love when they are consented to by the people. Hence, advocates of full democracy received a lot of support. At the time, men were allowed to vote. However, women weren’t universally ensured until some time later. Women were allowed to vote in 1928 (Britain), 1944 (France), 1949 (Belgium), and 1971 (Switzerland).
Some of the elections in the past have issues too. Such as how only graduates, aristocrats, and business owners are the only ones allowed to cast more than one ballot and be involved in politics. The people continued to fight, and thus everyone received the right to cast their ballots by the 19th to 20th centuries.
Functions of Election
Elections are to select representatives that the people prefer rather than picking people who don’t share their beliefs and values. The representative will then make political decisions. Because they are picked by the people, the representative can be held accountable if their performance isn’t up to expectations. However, accountability can be turned a blind eye if there are no better representatives running the election. Additionally, elections also serve as a political education for the people to ensure that they keep democracy in the hands of the citizens. Furthermore, elections can legitimize the political community. When there are elections, it means that the political aspect of a country is still in power which sets the country in order. Lastly, elections also give the people the power to vote whilst giving worth to people. Every vote matters. It also gives people the opportunity to reinforce themselves as citizens of a country.
What Happens During An Election?
During an election, politicians usually give out their manifestos, and promises, dedicate their time to the people and show the people that they can lead. To the people, this may be hypocritical. Because apart from the election seasons, politicians are hardly seen in the public’s eyes. Good actions like volunteer work should be done during on-and-off elections. Some politicians would even participate in charities. Such as giving out clothes like the Akatsuki shorts, t-shirts, and shoes, to those in need. To be a true politician who is loved by the citizens, the representative must always show the citizens that they are willing to be with the people, always. This doesn’t mean publicly, of course. As long as they side with the people, it’s already adequate. Take Jacinda Ardern as an example who has won the second term as the Prime Minister of New Zealand. According to a study, it shows that she roots for solidarity and responds to challenging world events effectively. The Prime Minister of New Zealand comments on controversial issues eloquently and she is able to handle conflicts without making the other party feel acknowledged. She has been with the people through earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and COVID-19 which made the people of New Zealand see her as their true representative.
However, there are people who would rather stay ignorant about voting due to conflicts and issues surrounding the event. Moreover, it’s common that election stories would be covered mostly by the media which made a lot of people become disinterested. The media such as television, radio, and media literacy act as watchdogs and prioritize platforms for everyone to catch up on the latest election developments. However, it is a positive aspect for the ones who are interested to know about the candidates and the development of the elections. This is helpful for educating voters on how to exercise their democratic rights, reporting on the developments of campaigns, providing platforms for political parties to convey their messages, allowing political parties to debate, reporting the results and monitoring the vote counts.
Why Voting Matters
In a democratic country, everyone who has reached 18 years old and above is able to choose their representative. You can expect elections to be held every few years. For Malaysia, it is every 5 years. Currently, the government of Malaysia is dissolved to make way for democracy to take its hold once again. This happened after years without an election due to political issues and COVID-19. The government is giving the power to choose back to the people. By doing this, it restores hope and confidence that citizens of a country can still choose their representatives.
In a country that holds up to democracy, it is imperative to educate ourselves on why voting matters. The first reason is that you are choosing a representative for your country. Without a true representative who can uphold their values, then a country and its people are lost. Elections give the people the voice to express their opinions and the power to choose who they deem necessary for the country. Additionally, by choosing a representative, the people have the power to let the party they choose to form necessary laws. It may not be obvious, but the power is in the hands of the citizens rather than the politicians.