Don’t Be a Bystander of Democracy

It’s essential for every eligible voter to register between 3 June and 1 August this year, and to vote in November for the party of their choice, including the ruling party.

Just as you wouldn’t want to be a passive observer in your marriage or at work, why would you choose to be a bystander in the democratic process?

Our National Assembly is elected through proportional representation, meaning if three out of every 10 votes go to a particular party, that party would receive 30% of the legislative seats.

Even if you’re not interested in politics, it affects you deeply.

Politics affects your taxes and the allocation of funds for issues you care about, like infrastructure maintenance, healthcare quality, civil servant salaries, business regulations, and government assistance programmes.

Consider this: Swapo secured 66% of the votes in the 2019 election, claiming 63 out of 96 parliamentary seats.
However, this victory was based on only 60,4% of registered voters turning out.

Swapo’s support, in reality, represented just 40% of all registered voters.

If all registered voters had participated and Swapo had received the same number of votes, the party’s parliamentary representation would have been limited to 40%.

Moreover, 40% of registered voters didn’t vote at all. Only 60% of eligible voters cast their ballots, with 67% of those votes going to Swapo.

This means despite low voter turnout, Swapo retained control over the legislative agenda. I’m not suggesting you vote for regime change, but your vote does matter, even if you choose not to use it.

Perhaps none of the existing parties fully represent your interests, and that’s okay.

What’s important is that you participate in shaping the outcome by voting. By abstaining, you leave the outcome to chance. By voting, you exert influence.

Don’t expect change if you’re unwilling to act.

Register to vote from 3 June onwards and make your voice count in November.

Frederick Kotze

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