Why Should We Exercise Our Right To Vote Today?

Why Should We Exercise Our Right To Vote Today?

A Constitution is considered by many states as their supreme law as it provides fundamental rules and regulations for law and governance. Pakistan is also one of the countries that is governed by a document known as the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973.

The 1973 Constitution is a codified document that mainly enumerates state policies. It further contains a separate chapter that discusses fundamental rights, which we sometimes also refer to as our Bill of Rights. However, in that chapter, the term ‘vote’ has not been included. My question is how, then, would a citizen of the state know about his or her right to vote or take part in the establishment of government?

Our Constitution highlights a number of rights for citizens, but I want to focus more on the ‘freedom of expression’. I believe that there numerous ways to convey one’s thoughts and ideas, but is a citizen still able to express himself or herself freely? The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees and preserves this freedom for citizens to share their expressions and thoughts.

Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan states,

“Every citizen shall have freedom of speech and opinion.”

The law is clear on the definition of freedom of expression. By analogy, a citizen of Pakistan also has the right to express his or her opinion by voting in the general elections 2018 and all citizens have the right to vote for a candidate who they think is responsible, prudent, law-abiding and able to represent the constituency for the betterment of the people. As far as our Constitution guaranteeing free an fair elections is concerned, it imposes certain responsibilities as well. If citizens witness anybody violating an election law, they have a duty to report it.

According to the socialist theory as well, the right to vote is not a merely a right but also a responsibility that lies on the shoulders of individuals who are citizens of the state. The least we can do, as citizens of the country, is vote. The civil society also needs to be self-aware of the power of its vote and should use the opportunity to vote today in order to shape a better tomorrow.

In the General Elections 2018, many social activists have come forward and social media has also played a great role in helping people understand political affairs. Yet there are some who don’t care about the democratic process at all and say no when it comes to voting. What will happen to the people who don’t vote? If their lifestyles and circumstances are not going to change either way, they should at least think about what their vote can mean for people who live in deprivation and are still striving for very basic rights, so one must think wisely and collectively, rather than individually.

A philosopher once described true republicans to be “men with their rights and nothing more – women with their rights and nothing less.” This speaks about the state and its laws. The state provides equal rights to its citizens and an equal opportunity to vote. And vote they must, for the best among them who can run the business of the state.

 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CourtingTheLaw.com or any organization with which she might be associated.

Ume Kulsoom Rind

The writer is an intern at Courting The Law. She is a fresh law graduate from the University of Sindh, Jamshoro and is working as a civil and family lawyer with MB Law Associates in Hyderabad, Sindh. She has also worked with Rights Now Pakistan to promote human rights in rural areas of Sindh. She has been part of the Sindh Youth Network as a content writer and has worked on projects such as the Girls Leadership Conference and Let's Educate Sindh. She has also volunteered with Social Innovators and worked on climate change projects in Hyderabad.



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