After Trump's election, let us make voting compulsory

How can America's democratic system produced Donald Trump as its President? Is there really no one else more qualified or suited to be the President of the most powerful and most influential nation on Earth? Isn't Democracy supposed to be a system where people elect who they want as their leader? How can this system, a system that is supposed to be a shining example of democracy, produced a man who is surely now one of the, or THE most hated person in America and the world? He is fighting with everybody including the ones who are on duty to support him: the FBI and the CIA. Two weeks into the job and he has made himself untrustworthy and unreliable to allies in Europe and has certainly made it difficult if not impossible to work with China, Japan and Mexico. 

The American democratic system voted in a person who has little ability to communicate, convince and persuade. How can he lead? Does he think being tough militarily is enough? After the horrors of history, we expect that humanity ought to have matured a little bit more than admiring leaders who love playing tough and macho than someone who can actually do the hard work of solving problems. Let's see how the American taxpayers will end up paying for their leader's posturing, paying taxes so they can fund missiles, expensive jets and bombs. And should war actually does break out, will it be worth it?  

There is something seriously wrong with the way election is done in the USA. It is not because it produced a result where Trump is the winner. It is because clearly, the result does not match the opinion of the majority. The majority of Americans do not respect the result of the election. Look at all the protest and dissent around the nation. Where is the trust? The trust is not there. 

Whose to blame? I have respect for the American voters who chose it right to go out, let their voice heard and voted, even if they voted for Trump. In my opinion, it is those voters who did not turn up to have their voice counted are the ones to blame.

Had they gone out and voted, they could have steered the world into a totally different direction. Most people in many nations would be more at ease, and would be in better footing to actually solve the world’s problems the right way. Instead, the opposite is true.

Having said that, it is possible that even if every eligible American voter did go out and vote, that Trump would still have turned out to be the winner. The difference however, is that Americans and we, citizens of the world who are affected by American politics, can all be confident that Trump being elected as the President indeed reflects the true will of the American people. At the moment, many cannot respect Trump because many do not trust the process with which the US have held their elections, how their politicians are being funded and how their voters are being qualified or disqualified to vote.

Compulsory Voting can play a part in what is sure to be a bigger problem. I say make Voting Compulsory. Why? So people can finally start taking responsibility for how they are governed.

Someone told me that this is an insane proposition. Would this not result in more Trumps, not less? My response was: He's probably right if he thinks that most of his fellow citizens, the majority, will always be too dumb to ever know and understand what is right for them. There are two countries I know of where voting for their national government is compulsory: Australia and Belgium. I lived in both. Their societies are not crumbling. In fact they are arguably more stable than where the USA is at now. 

I believe that given an environment where everyone is given access to quality information, the voting public can and will educate themselves to determine the right man or woman to lead them. 

When everybody votes, it adds pressure to politicians to appeal and represent as much of his constituents as possible. There's more probability that you end up with a government that is more at the centre of everyone's bias and not too extreme in the left or right of politics.   

You hear a lot of rationalisations about why people do not want to go out and vote. They say things like, “Ah, they’re both the same: same shit, different colour”. Or, “Politicans, are all liars”. “They are corrupt”.

When it comes down to it, arguments for not wanting to vote are arguments made because many people just cannot not be bothered. Down to the core, many people who complain about having to vote just do so out of laziness. They talk about Politicians not really doing anything and yet, here they are, not even bothering to go out to stand in line and tick some boxes.

Then there are those who say, “What’s a democracy if you cannot even choose whether or not to vote?”. But when you ask people have they actually looked into the issues that Politicians deal with? Most have no clue. They cannot really explain why they are for or against an action, let alone articulate why they feel a certain way about an issue. Most are actually unaware why something is even an issue.

There is also this statement: “It’s better to leave those who are uninterested in Politics not to have a say”. May sound nice right? “Yes, let us, the ‘interested’ people, run the country”. That is a recipe for disaster because in the end, many people are lazy when it comes to voting. Given the option, they will not vote. What ends up happening is that, people who are “uninterested” end up being under-represented in the decision-making process and so they’re interests end up being left out. If they are not already, they will end up being poor, the uneducated, the under-paid and the over-worked members of our society: those who precisely need to be represented. Ironic.

I feel like people need reminding as to what hard work generations before us have sacrificed to have a system of governance where they get to choose who leads them. Our forefathers and foremothers lived under other forms of governance like monarchies, aristocracies and dictatorships.  They knew how cruel, unjust and unfair they were! Democracy is the best form of governance we have!

After generations of painful struggle, many of us now get to live under leaders we vote for. When you have people from non-democratic countries wanting to migrate to countries that are democratic, you know that Democracy works.

Earlier generations of women and black people wanted and struggled to earn their right to vote. As a result, their descendants now, who are relatively free enough not to get bought and sold as slaves and they are relatively free enough not to have their destinies dictated by who their parents are who what class they belong to.

In one of the early forms of democratic rule in ancient Greece, only men who go or went to battle for their State, was granted the right to vote. They had assemblies where they participated in discussions about issues important to them and casted their votes on these issues.

Nowadays, we do not have to attend such meetings. All we need to do is to choose a person whom we feel should represent us in the decisions that eventually affect us. We just need to stand in line one day out of say, 1460 days (that is 365 x 4 years) and choose the person or persons to whom we delegate our responsibilities to. That is it! That is not even a percent of our time. A citizen who cannot commit to that low level commitment does not deserve the benefits of living under the protection and care of his or her state.

Let me put it another way. Next time there’s an election, just set aside a couple or a few hours to find out who you should vote for, and just go out and do it. It is the least you can do. Just because life is relatively okay, let’s not be complacent. If you end up electing the wrong leader to cause trouble in the world stage, it will not take long before we all get caught up in madness. Your vote counts. 

In what way does this article relate to you? Do you agree or disagree? Why? Why not?

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