I’ve heard these comments before: if every politician and political party is bad in Malaysia, who do i vote for? The outlook seems bleak, the pessimism very real. Consider the following:
Your constituency is being contested by BN and PR via their component parties, UMNO and PAS. You want to vote for PR, but you feel very strongly against the PAS agenda of the Islamic state (brought up again by PAS Youth this week). Do you vote for the the PAS rep because you want your vote to count for PR?
Your constituency has been poorly managed by BN; drains are always clogged, road maintenance is poor, traffic congestion is a problem left unsolved. However, you believe strongly in the BN agenda, and you want them to continue ruling the nation. Do you vote for the incumbent?
You’re a racist bigot, and you feel that Malays must always control Malaysia, economically and politically. However, you’re also against corruption, and you feel that the size of the pie would be a lot larger (for Malays, especially) if we weeded out corruption from government and big business. The UMNO candidate is also a member of PERKASA so you feel that he will represent your need for Malay rule, however the PR candidate is from DAP, and promises to clean up corruption should PR come to power.
For some people, its not going to be an easy decision come GE13.
Do you vote for your ideals, do you vote for the man (or woman), do you vote for the party and ignore who the candidate is? Different people will approach this question differently. The one thing that i urge everyone to remember is that good people will be good people, regardless of their political party. Conversely, bad people will be bad, regardless of their party, even regardless of their faith. It’s a lot harder to tell the difference when it comes to the value of the respective parties.
The problem with BN is that they have been in power for a long time. A lot of good things have happened in this time, but also a lot of bad. Once you’ve accumulated a large history of bad, it offers a large and inviting target for political attack and social criticism. The claim that, “BN has been here since Independence and the country is still not where it should be” is a valid one.
The problem with PR is that sometimes we just don’t know who we’re voting for. Are we voting for the calm collectiveness of DAP, or the Islamic brand of politics in PAS, or the “reformasi” of PKR? They just seem so out of synch of each other with wildly different ideologies, histories and approaches. Say what you will about BN, but this is certainly not a problem that they have. A vote for any candidate from any BN component party is as good as a vote for BN. The same can’t be said about a vote for either DAP, PAS or PKR — are we really voting for PR?
The only advice i can give is for each of us to vote our conscience. Instead of getting bogged down by who is what and why is where, we should throw aside our political affiliations for a second and place our vote in what we feel will be best for the nation. Certainly, our definitions of that term will vary, but no one can blame you for getting it wrong if its done honestly. Perhaps then, there will be something to look forward to.
- Voting the Devil you know (aizuddindanian.com)
- There is nothing to fear from democracy (aizuddindanian.com)