Blogbox | Elections 2017 | Democracy

2007 vs 2017

By - 27.05.2017

A few things to consider before casting your vote.

Let’s think and assess how the political parties that are currently running function. Do not vote for subjects that act like criminal organizations on election day, by buying votes, filling cars with less than willing voters, topping up ballot boxes or threatening citizens. Because the same method will be used if they are in power.

A few honest words for all friends and people that will vote on June 11, and especially young voters in the Rahovec Municipality. I am very aware that what I am writing here will mostly be forgotten by election day; some will only read the title or the first paragraph. But I would be very happy if at least one reader would remind him or herself about one of these sentences on election day. This would be sufficient. So I plead you to be patient and read this article to the end.

These days, while saying, hearing and writing a lot about the June elections, I remembered the year 2007. This year was especially important for me and my peers. It was a year in which we had the right to choose our representatives in the Kosovo Assembly for the first time: a beautiful feeling. At least on election day, I felt important!

However, with all the enthusiasm, something was not right. The euphoria and naivety, typical for a young voter, as well as that feeling of importance, had prevailed over the most important feeling, that of responsibility. I am not saying that my vote eventually went to the wrong candidate, but 10 years ago I was not aware of how important my vote was; I was considering myself to be more important than the vote itself.

"A government that would fight corruption, would work for economic development, welfare for all, and not only the privileged few? This starts with us changing our relationship with politics, politicians and political parties."

Betim Zllanoga

In all other parliamentary or local elections after 2007 (and there have been quite a few) I have tried to consider that enthusiasm for voting as not only important, but sacred. It is not only a responsibility towards myself, but also towards others. And before deciding who to vote for, I spent a lot of time evaluating the respective candidates and offers of the political parties.

It’s not as if Kosovo has ever had democratic elections in the literal sense. We have had elections in which votes have been stolen industrially. We’ve had some elections that were not so good, and elections that fulfilled minimal standards of the normal world. As a result, we have had irresponsible governments, corrupt officials, an underdeveloped economy and a lack of welfare for the citizens of our young Republic.

The reason why we have witnessed a continuity of this political class is directly related to the way we decide to support a party or candidate so that they represent us. If a voter acts responsibly on election day and the days preceding it, then the voted in will also be responsible. What must we do and how must we act as a society, as young voters, experienced voters and responsible citizens, so that we have dignified representation in the Assembly? A government that would fight corruption, would work for economic development, welfare for all, and not only the privileged few? This starts with us changing our relationship with politics, politicians and political parties.

There are a few basic things that we must keep in mind before deciding to trust someone with the task of representing us. We must be critical in our evaluation of the candidates. We must not believe just about anything that is said. Beforehand, think about their actions and contributions while in office. You must not believe that a candidate will represent you in a dignified way in the Assembly if they have not given a contribution to society, especially if they have benefited personally at the citizen’s expense. Do not vote for those that consider politics to be their only occupation.

Let’s think and assess how the political parties that are currently running function. Do not vote for subjects that act like criminal organizations on election day, by buying votes, filling cars with less than willing voters, topping up ballot boxes or threatening citizens. Because the same method will be used if they are in power.

Last but not least we must pay attention to the election process and our role. We as citizens must protect our vote and not allow it to be misused. It does not matter if we are voters, election commissioners, members of the election monitoring staff, or even members of political parties. Only this way can we hope for a better future for future generations.

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