Saturday, January 22, 2011

The power is in your hands

It came to me that most of you (assuming the demographic of blog readers are mostly youngsters) do not follow politics. Either that you don’t bother the newspaper (your parent’s domain), you’re not old enough to vote (but that doesn’t discount you the responsibilities as a citizen) or you complain that politics are boring/dirty/etc. (you’re just being plain lazy). Face it. You’re a citizen and there are things that you should really do.

In a democracy it is very important to follow the local news, no matter how busy you are. After all, if you yourself does not care for the nation, who else will? And what’s more is that you are the ones that will take care of the nation in the future. Maybe you read things like this in your Moral or Civic before, but read on, for I will touch on far more than that.

You read that Malaysia is a democratic nation. But do you really know the true meaning of democracy? Not the meanings from the bonsai-ed Sejarah textbooks, mind you. Goverments come and go, but the nation still stands, or even goes on on their daily business. That’s real democracy.

And being a democracy, it is normal to have something of a free market, where parties markets their own ‘brand’ of good governance and plans for the country. We are something like consumers, who buys their ‘products’ when it comes to the general elections. So, just like smart consumers, we need to look past their marketing slogans and advertisements, check up on the real quality of their propagandas. And any party who gives threats for your votes are a sure no-no. Think of it, would you buy a product if the seller says “If you don’t buy this, you will have stunted growth from now on”?

Of course, you can be a supporter if you happen to resonate with the ideologies of a party. However, you have brains, dude, and you cannot support blindly especially if the party has lost it ways and deviated from its original ideals. In the words of Umar al-Khattab the second caliph of the Islamic empire when he was just elected, “If I follow the right path, follow me. If I deviate from the right path, correct me so that we are not led astray.” 

Politics are the dirtiest and most deadly games invented by humans. The subplots to distract people’s attention, withholding of ‘information’ to retain a trump card on others, manipulation of people’s minds to even topple your superiors, legal traps set up to bind opponents. These are not all, in other nations you have coups and assassinations and even civil war, pray that those does not happen here. Anyway, as a responsible citizen, you should look behind the stories and supposed facts, read between the lines… as what you perceive as the truth may be only a pretext made up to cover the true story. And keep in mind that online news are not always superior to the newspapers.

To sum up it all, be conscious of what’s happening around you, make an effort to know more about what’s true and what’s not, make your decision rationally and with an open mind, and when the time comes, it’s your turn to show who’s boss.

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