Voting In A Democracy And The Seriousness Of It

Wednesday 12th, February 2014 / 07:37 Published by

sharon-turnerIf on Election Day the people vote a government out, but that government refuses to leave -what does it make that government?

If a union holds legal elections and the union that loses refuses to leave office, what does that make the defeated union? Think about this when paid public spokespersons and members of the press seek to convince Bahamians that their vote in last year’s gaming poll is insignificant and does not need to be respected by the government of the day.

The critical issue with respect to last year’s gaming poll is not about numbers houses or churches and religion – it is about what the will of the people in a national poll held by the State means in a democracy, and how backwards and defunct a “free” nation The Bahamas would prove itself to be if it does not honor what that means.

And for those members of the press who seem not to know – a poll or election held by the State in this country is not legitimized or illegitimate based on how many registered voters vote. The results of the vote count regardless of the numbers of persons who turn out is the mandate of a State poll or election. Media persons to whom this applies ought to learn their nation, its Constitution, its system of government and its laws.

Here is a history lesson for you. Governments in this country are to serve a maximum of a five-year term in office. In 1992, the then government led by the late Sir Lynden Pindling overstayed that five-year period and refused to call an election prior to that period expiring. It prompted fears in the Hemisphere that it might be seeing The Bahamas turn into a dictatorship, because to willfully overstay your Constitutional term in office is a flagrant violation of the Constitution, our system of government, our democracy and the rights of all Bahamians, regardless of which Party they support.

The Party that now runs the country has a recorded history of violating the Bahamian people when it comes to the electoral process and the mandate given by the people through their votes at the polls. If it so happens that we should see this occur again soon, it will be history repeating itself in this regard. When you do not know or acknowledge your history, you are doomed to repeat it.

And if this government violates the mandate of the Bahamian people as expressed in a democratic State poll held last year, then all Bahamians need to wake up and understand what this government is fully prepared to do whenever another poll, Constitutional referendum or general election is called. If your democratic vote is violated now by the State – with no opposition from the nation – your next vote cast can and would be violated again by the State. Wake up Bahamas. Take your mind off numbers and focus on what the will of voters in a democracy means.

Sharon Turner

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