Why you should vote

A public policy expert explains how voting is an exercise towards realising dignified India

Dr. Vijayetta Sharma | May 15, 2024


#policy   #democracy   #General Elections   #governance  
(Photo: Governance Now)
(Photo: Governance Now)

What are the direct tangible benefits that you want from the government coming in power? The manifestos of various parties set a host of agendas which many times falls back in materialising the intended gains. Governance failures, policy lapses, implementation gaps, leadership crisis and cultural blockages could lead to pessimist tendencies among the citizens from exercising their voting right.

Your voting preference is going to decide the new power mechanism in the government which would set new priorities, new agendas, new targets and ultimately leading to a redefined trajectory of goal formation and revised missions for attaining the foresighted outcomes. A lot of heated agendas needs better prioritisation, be it climate change, food security, employment, health services, reduction in crime against women and children, and so on.

Of course, the next government has a daunting task on hand. A clear definition of means to ends, and the route to achieve the ends with the setting of right priorities would determine the success of the government. India is among the nations with the highest rates of child undernutrition, crime against women, hunger, poverty, resource mismanagement and so on. India’s abysmal position in Gender Inequality Index, 2022 (108 out of 193), Global Hunger Index, 2023 (111 out of 125), Corruption Perceptions Index, 2023 (93 out of 180), World Press Freedom Index, 2023 (161 of 180) and Energy Transition Index 2023 (67 out of 120), among others, poses a challenge for the government to draw compelling action plans and effective implementation strategies to join the league of developed nations by the next election cycle.

India has also been termed as a “Flawed Democracy” in the Democracy Index, 2023 by Economic Intelligence Unit, giving it 41st rank among the 165 independent states and two territories. Further, India is placed on the third rank among the world’s most polluted countries and Delhi as the world’s most polluted capital by the World Air Quality Report 2024 prepared by IQ Air.

Let’s be very clear that the capacities to perform come from the core values that the new government will endorse. The citizen needs to be vigilant of the vote bank political stunts used to tow the people for increasing the vote base. So, before you go for the voting, certain key points need clarity and better understanding as your voting preference would determine the establishment of the edifice of the new future.

The governmental performance can be gauged at five discrete levels which define the structure of governmental operational management system, i.e., policy, resources, structure, leadership and culture. Out of these five, the leadership and culture determine the performance at the level of policy, resources, and structure.

Among the varied traits of leadership such as vision, passion, self-awareness, empathy, courage etc., communication is the most significant indicator for determining the policy outcomes, resource management and maintaining the work flow in the structure. The effectiveness of communication in bringing desired results is determined by the vision, resourcefulness, and goal-target-result consciousness of the leader in bringing the desired change. Leadership determines the flow of work targets, motivation quotient, and communication accuracy from top to bottom of the pyramid of government system.

Culture is another aspect which determines the work ethos, collaboration notion, and team stability at all levels in the hierarchy. Culture has the potential to increase the “attention to detail” to the work performance and is readily fostered by the right leadership. Hence, choosing the right leader would have tremendous and multiplying effects on the country’s upliftment targets.

It is therefore necessary to be mindful of voting preference before going for voting this time. A careful distinction needs to be drawn between the fan following and understanding the capacities to perform of the competing parties. Let’s move out of the farse charismatic attractions and be a moral, vigilant, responsible, and mature citizen of the nation.

What if you don’t vote?
Apart from saving yourself from the scorching heat of the summer, a few hours which you could spend at your workplace and compete with your colleagues, or spending quality time with your family, or completing your pending task, there is a huge moral turpitude which accounts to negligence of democratic rights.

What if there is a dilemma in deciding whom to vote?
There can never be a dilemma, think about the change that you wish to be manifested in the future. Your perception of change would drive you towards the right direction in choosing the right candidate. There are always predisposed notions of political representatives towards the change perceptions, dominant change items, change makers, change agents, and non-change seeking agendas. Does your vision of dignified India coincide with the change perceptions of political representatives? A clarity on your highest priorities and their causal interaction with the offering by the political representative, is your right choice to vote.  

It is always to be remembered that the best performers are not the noise makers. Power positions determines the future of India in international politics, national growth, empowerment and accomplishment of regional targets. It is the “citizen” who decides the incumbents to the power positions.

Let’s decide on the criteria’s of performance and make the government to work.

Let’s be mindful citizen and caste your choice.

Who is stopping you if not yourself!

Dr. Sharma is Associate Professor of Public Policy at Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies.

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