Keep registering to vote
More than 100,000 Bahamians have already registered to vote. The Parliamentary Registration Department hopes to register 160,000 to 170,000 people to vote for the next general election. Considering that an election is not imminent – we likely have several months to go – we will likely reach the target set or come very close to it. Bahamians should know that they can register up until an election is called.
Whether or not a person decides to vote, we all should register. Many are unhappy with the two main political parties, and a good chunk of that group may ultimately decide not to vote. That is their democratic right. However, it would be wise nonetheless to still register.
By registering you give yourself a choice. At the last minute, a few days before the election, something may happen to make you want to vote for a candidate, or party or to vote against a candidate or party. You cannot make this decision if you do not register to vote and an election is called.
Voting rights were fought for. We must all honor the sacrifice of the generations before us who struggled to ensure that there would be a fair electoral process. It would be an insult to that struggle if Bahamians do not even care enough to register.
For those who do not see a candidate, party or leader they can support yet, register and keep watching and evaluating. The hard campaign has not yet begun. During this process there will be more to evaluate.
The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Free National Movement (FNM) will have to prove that they can inspire again, as many have become disenchanted with their rule. The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) will have to prove it is ready to govern and that it is not merely a tool of its leader’s ego.
We are the judge and jury. If we force them – the candidates, the leaders and the parties – they will do better. A key component of this power is voting. And to vote, you must register.
Jul 18, 2011