Election season is upon us and campaigns have started fully. Everyone is talking about who they are going to vote for and why. More than ever before, youths are more engaged online and offline; they are lending their voices to political matters and are encouraging others to go out there and vote for the best.
But how do we determine who the best candidate is? That’s a never-ending debate. People have their metrics by which they determine who the best candidate is for them. Who you want or what you believe in may not be the same as mine. That, they say, is the beauty of democracy – the ability to choose, vote for who you want to vote for, and be voted for if you choose to run for any political position.
And when you campaign or vote for a candidate people loathe? Wahala! On social media, people have called out other people and even celebrities for voting for a certain candidate whom they believe wouldn’t perform well or, like in the past 8 years, plunge the country further into poverty. There’s been anger, insults, exchange of words, and heated arguments. Offline, people are cutting off their family and friends because of their political choices and differences.
But come to think about it; isn’t this a democracy? Shouldn’t people be allowed to vote for whomever they want to vote for? As a people, are we not allowed to have political preferences? Some believe that even if they do not necessarily agree with other people’s political candidates, they recognise that people have choices and they respect these choices. Whatever is happening politically does not affect how they see their friends and family. Vote for yours, I vote for mine. Man no go vex.
Others, on the other hand, do not believe that the term choices or preferences should apply to politics. These choices, they say, affect other people’s lives and living standards. If you vote for a bad leader, you won’t be the only one to suffer the consequences of your actions – we all suffer together. If the economy worsens or insecurity spikes, it doesn’t affect only those who voted, it affects everyone. So if this choice or preference is going to disrupt other people’s live and means of livelihood, don’t they have the right to question your choices?
Over to you BNers, do you believe choices shouldn’t be a thing in political and election matters? Should people be cut for campaigning or voting for someone you do not agree with? Would you cut off your friends or family members if they campaign or vote for a candidate you loathe?