“VOTE FOR CHANGE – ELECTIONS 2020”
(A Letter to the Eligible Voters of Seychelles)
Forty-three (43) years down memory lane – Friday 05th June 2020, the Electoral Commission held a live press conference whereby they announced the provisional dates for this year’s Presidential Election as the: 22nd, 23rd & 24th October 2020.
With the corona-virus pandemic in the midst of the Election campaign, the people were thus pondering on how will this Presidential Election takes place amidst the advisories from the Department of Health in line with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Today, as a non-partisan and non-politically affiliated ‘National Unity Advocate’, I have devoted my time and inspiration to focus on one of the main motivation and concentration for this year’s Presidential & National Assembly Elections and that is no other than: “Vote for Change”. ‘Vote for Change’ should be coupled with the insight of ‘National Unity’, Peace, Love and Harmony for the people of Seychelles. 43 years down memory lane, we have witness the status quos of the ruling party and ‘changes’ have been rational in the way the country has been presided. Today, I am advocating for ‘real change’ and this should be bonded on whichever political party wins this Presidential & National Assembly Elections. In ‘voting for change’, our people should also endorse and embrace the essence of ‘Voting for UNITY’.
Smaller Governments should be smarter and much easier to bring about changes as compared to a larger Country or State. One of the main slogans of our local political parties’ election campaign should be centered on the promise of ‘change for the betterment of the people.’
I will urge the Seychellois voters to rally positively behind any political party who is advocating for ‘change’ and their Presidential Candidate poises as a true ‘agent of change’. We (the Seychellois voters) ought to examine if that person is a servant leader, a peoples’ person with a credible standing, his capability to rule and a person of great worthiness and value.
Before opting for a ‘change’ candidate, it is important to consider whether the changes he proposes really will be changes for the better rather than changes for the worse.
‘Voting for change’ when the status quo is unfavorable is a common strategy for voters. Globally in most elections, the biggest determinants of the outcome are short-term economic trends. If the economy is reclining or non-performing to the populace’s expectations, voters throw out the incumbents and expect ‘change’ to improve the situation. Here in Seychelles, we have barely had the chance over the past 43 years to ‘vote for real change’.
People of Seychelles, there is much room for improvement in our situation but there is even more room for things to get worse. And bear it in mind that we have a great deal to lose from the wrong kind of change. There are many historical examples of voters opting for a ‘change agent’ out of dissatisfaction with the status quo, only to get change for the worse.
We need to examine the credibility of the political parties’ manifestos and see how they will necessarily prove to be better than the party in power and their flaws. Examining their short, medium and long-term economic trends and plans, their vision for the people and their greater plans for the ultimate benefits of every Seychellois, should provide us with a better insight for a much informed vote comes Election Day.
Before you support a candidate who promises to shake and shape up the system with his brand of change, it is important to ask whether it will be change for the better. This requires a serious evaluation of his policies and their potential effects. The key question to ask about a potential Presidential Candidate is not only about if he is a peoples’ person, his government reform plans, human capital policies, financial accountability and whether his e-government plans will constitute changes for the better or the worse, but whether he will be a true ‘change agent.’ It will also be imperative to ask whether he has the temperament and knowledge needed to implement ever good policies effectively and become a designated executive leader.
In assessing presidential candidates’ proposals for change, we should put extra weight on those that a president could implement on his own, without the need for new legislation. Seriously considering candidates’ policies is much harder than just voting for a change agent because you are angry about the existing state of affairs. It may be particularly difficult for the large number of voters who often do not even know the very basic facts about government and public policy. The combination of ignorance and voting based on simplistic reasoning is even rational behavior for most people, given the very low odds that a single vote will affect an electoral outcome. Political ignorance should not be equated with irrationality or stupidity as rational behavior is not the same thing as good behavior. If you want to be an ethically responsible voter, as opposed to merely a rational one, you should only support change after carefully considering the evidence on whether it is likely to be change for the better. If you do not have the knowledge to do so and are unwilling or unable to learn, you also have the honorable option of abstaining from ignorant voting. It is not wrong to be ignorant about the potential consequences of proposals for change, but it is often wrong to inflict that ignorance on your fellow citizens.
As the ‘National Unity Advocate’, I will encourage all eligible voters to exercise their rights in the coming Presidential & National Assembly Elections 2020 as voting is not just an individual choice, but the exercise of ‘power over others.’ That power should be exercised responsibly. By all means, vote for change you can believe in and you have good reason to think it will be change for the better. The time has come for us to ‘VOTE’ righteously!!!
Author: Jacob Terence Madeleine
Writer, National Unity Advocate Date: 18th October 2020