Lesser of Two Evils - The Modern Voter Conandrum
Recently insignificant number of countries around the globe, the voters are put before a rather difficult choice. That choice is which political figure or political option will they entrust to lead them. Logically your would think that this is not a problem. You have multiple options you weigh their platforms and chose the ones which are the closest to your own political thinking or your own belief as to in which direction the country is supposed to be run.
However, there are hidden obstacles before you make a choice. More and more the candidates do not aim their focus towards their political program but toward other aspects. The issues most important to the candidates might not even be brought up on the campaign trail. Having all this in mind voters simply do not know who to support or what to do come election day. What are all the misgivings of both the candidates and their campaigns? what should we change? Let us take a closer look.
Firstly, we have to delve into the candidates themselves. What is it they represent, and what kind of people are they. Recently, an uncomfortable number of candidates came forward who should not even be considered for the highest office. They are people who possess questionable moral qualities. We should think that morality is one of the more critical personal characteristics we should look for in our presidents, prime ministers, etc.
Furthermore, they tend to be burdened with various scandals. These scandals can range from their personal life to the business dealings that they have conducted in the past. There is a thought being floated around that in these modern times, nobody is flawless. By that, it is meant that everyone is bound to have some dirt on them. While this may as well be true, shouldn't we hold people running for office to a higher standard? Shouldn't we aspire to elect only the best examples from our community? I believe this to be true.
Besides, we should not look to elect people who have not worked a day in their lives to political functions mostly because they are inexperienced, which is an important thing to have if you are to run the country. On the other hand, people who have not made a living before entering politics tend to try and make money in politics, which is always a bad idea. They end up making a living as a politician, but the expense of people they are supposed to be representing and whose interest they are supposed to be protecting.
Lastly, we are seeing candidates who are running, shall I say, a conspiracy theory based campaign. During the history, we occasionally had the off chance of having these types of people running, but more as comic relief candidates rather than serious contenders. Now, we have populist candidates who will try and do anything that will advance their chances. There is no morality or fairness among them. They will often attack vulnerable groups, accusing them of whatever is wrong in the world at that point. Their platform is that of hate and fear. They instill in their voters the irrational fears that they are about to lose their way of life or something along those li(n)es. By doing this, they fire up anger among voters, and they go on to support them during elections, based on a cocktail of lies and misrepresentations. These (anger and fear) are two powerful emotions that must not be taken lightly.
When it comes to campaigns, there are also a lot of shortcomings. The campaign is supposed to have candidates running platform. The candidate is then supposed to introduce it to the public and explain to voters why that person is the best possible choice for the highest office. During campaign trails, candidates are supposed to meet voters and persuade then into voting for them.
However, this is not the case. Candidates often do not have a running platform and usually tend to run a negative campaign. A negative campaign is a type of campaign in which the people who are running it are spreading negative information about someone or something in order to discredit the public image of whomever or whatever they are attacking.
They do not have a plan how to better the lives of their fellow citizens. However, what they do have is a strategy of attacking the other candidate and spreading usually lies and misinformation about them or their plans for the future. This is a very problematic aspect of campaigns because instead of voting for someone, the voters end up voting against someone.
This mentality of voting against someone is disastrous for the well-being of a nation. You are effectively doing so based on a combination of lies and half-truths. Instead of choosing an economic plan with which we will have a better quality of life, voters are concerning themselves with unimportant aspects of campaigns which have become the big talking points.
The Impossible Choice
What do the voters have at their disposal to counter the impossible choice? The choice between candidates of whom neither should be put in the office. This is the modern conundrum that we as voters face come every election. The voters must signal that they will not put up with the kind of behavior we are seeing from potential leaders across the globe.
One of the options is undoubtedly the boycott of the upcoming election. It should be noted that the boycott does not belong in a functioning democracy. However, it can play an integral part in a democracy that has waved of its path. Having these types of candidates violates everything a democracy should stand for and should protect. Furthermore, there is a question to be asked here: Are we as voters having fair elections in a situation that these candidates have made. With all of the lies and misinformation, we are hardly having fair elections in terms of our possibility to obtain the relevant information with which are chosen will be made.
A well-educated electorate is the most important thing in a democracy. We are not having that in current political reality. With an impossibly high rate of spinning the truth and replacing it with lies and innuendo, we cannot have a well-educated electorate. The media has its own reckoning to go through. Primarily they are the tool to which the average voter turns in order to be informed about the essential aspects of candidates and their platforms.
With all that has been said thus far, the question remains. The solution might be pretty straightforward. In the countries in which it is allowed, protest vote should be put in action. A protest vote is a vote which has been cast in an election with which the voters voices his or her displeasure with the candidates. It is a sign of deeply rooted unhappiness with the options that are put in front of voters. It is different than boycott because it constitutes taking part in the election process. By protest voting, you are declining all of the available candidates for the highest position In your country. When all else fails, we must resort to the tools that most of the voters would never use. It is all in the service of a better future for all of us.