Friday, December 14, 2007

Vote for me, no me...

Frequent elections are such a waste of financial resources that could be better spent on education or health care, as has been the case in Canada in the past few years. This is the only country that I can relate to personally, since it's here I reached the legal age to vote. And vote I did. At the Federal Election, no less. I was so pleased. I had cast my vote for the party that, I believed would do the least damage, all plotted beforehand by a process of elimination, for isn't that how things go in the political world. I had even rounded up the family, insisting that we all HAVE to vote. My brother stoicly refused, which angered me so. Arguments ensued. His reasons were absurd. Such passivity. I was not pleased about that.

In Dubai, well, the UAE, as expats, my parents & maternal grandparents had no right to vote. Besides, it was just a mini parliment. In actuality, the country is still ruled by seven Sheiks, one for each Emirate. Nevertheless the parliament exists to....well, actually, I don't know why it exists...

But India, well I remember while living in Bombay, when my paternal grandparents would get ready to vote. One of my friend's mother was a very active member in the political arena. If she wasn't running for that particular term, she'd bring around who she was supporting. He like her, like us were Catholic. Funny how I remember thinking: Wait, so you're going to vote for him cause he's of the same religion as us? Never mind that in hindsight this actually did work out.
My friend's mom was actually quite the doer and it was whom my grandparents identified with, who they knew could produce results, when things needed to be done. I'm sure my Hindu & Muslim friends' parents felt the same and voted for whom they identified with. Anyway, the yellow voting cards would come in & off they'd go to vote. They'd return back with a permanent ink dot on their thumbnail right near the cuticle, of proof that they had voted. The nail that would not loose its mark until a month or so later, the spot would reach the fingertip's edge, only to be trimmed off. This marking process was to prevent people from voting twice. Your thumbnails would be checked. That was how it was done back then. (I was actually disappointed when I found out they didn't follow this process in Canada. I was really looking forward to my thumbnail being marked with that black dot). Anyway, when my grandparents would return back from their voting session, it was all hush hush. They wouldn't tell me nor each other whom they had voted for. They probably thought I'd reveal it to my friends or their parents. They were and probably still are firm believers in privacy when it comes to politics. And although I did have an inclination that it might be my friend's mom or her friend, I never did find out.

Come Tuesday, Dec 18th, Bermudians will be lining up to cast their vote for their preferred political party. It's election time. Now, while I won't go into too much detail here, as much as I have been keeping up to date with the news, I do have a couple of things to say. Bermuda does things differently where politics are concerned. The gloves really do come off and sleeves are really rolled up. And politics is very much a topic of discussion on the radio. A couple of weeks ago, an irate caller phoned in one of the radio shows to let the host know that she, along with the rest of Bermuda did not need to constantly have his political choice shoved down their throats at every opportunity, especially since this was not a government radio station. His retort was that he has been fair and has defended actions of both major parties, regardless of his personal party of choice. Her answer therein was that everyone knows where his loyalties lie and it seems like he's influencing his listeners with his political opinions.

The deal is this: In many countries, politics are not discussed on air, unless it's on government radio, or unless it's a specific debate between representatives of both or all parties involved. It's always just the facts that are reported because unintentional as it may be, it's a challenge not to cross that fine line, which inadvertently does get crossed, when said discussions take place on air. These discussions are formed opinions that many times blindsides the population into voting for someone just because they like the on air personality (as an example). That's my take on it, which by the way went through my mind the very first time I, in disbelief, heard this host rendering his political opinions on air.

Alright, enough said. I now end this post on a comical note, says a Bermudian landlord to his expat government employed tenant:
You work for the government, they must have told you who's going to win the election!

!?!?!

4 comments:

Roopan said...

Vote for me please....very funny. "If I win we will provide you tap water, electricity, roads will be with tar & finally kerosine 10 ltrs per month"...all in India.

Stan said...

Parliament in uae? What parliament? It is still 7 dictatorships! lol

Stan said...

hmm...

looks like u can't trust everything on wikipedia!

or else one of the sheiks himself must have 'updated' the particular article, lol

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

Roopan: Sounds all too familiar.

Stan: At least liberal and it's not so bad like in Saudi. Yes, someone must have changed the WIKI article, because thats what it said earlier...