By Leworth I Bannis
On November 5th 2014, Honorable Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced December 8th 2014 to be the date for the general elections and advised the president to dissolve the House of Parliament. Subsequently, the political parties began their campaign. General elections are constitutionally due every five years in the commonwealth of Dominica. Some people are once again going to make a political decision and exercise a right that is provided for and protected by law. A significant number of young people are going to vote for the first time. For these voters, the opportunity is there to support a political representative and the party of their choice.
Young persons are reminded and advised to be wise, prudent, mature and responsible in exercising their right to vote. Some persons choose not to vote and it is their respectable decision to do so but youth are encouraged to exercise their voting right and also to carefully consider the options that are present. Prominent pollster Mr. Peter Wickham has stated that leadership might very well be the leading issue as regards to election. The youth are advised to lend their support to the person they think will best represent their interest in parliament and foster the positive development of Dominica. In other words, vote with Dominica’s future in mind. Politicians are equipped with policies and promises that for the most part may be quite appealing. Young persons should try to remember that their vote is worth so much more that the little their pockets may hold for the election season. That the politicians see value in their votes and so they themselves must recognize how important they are as registered voters. Do not only think of personal gain, think of the development of our dear country since when it thrives we all thrive and can rest assured to see a brighter future.
It is totally sensible that voters take a comprehensive look at the manifestos that are circulated. Do not simply toss aside the manifesto of one political party because you are leaning towards a different side. Listen to what they both have to say and compare their plans since it is the only way to be objective. And how better to be objective than to take time to compare the documentation of the 5 year plan each party has set before you. Ask yourself, Are these plans realistic? Do these plans for the economy make sense in comparism to the budget of our nation? In the long term will my country benefit? What are you offering for the youth, for employment, for sustainable development? Youth are encouraged to be focused on the issues as well as challenges affecting them and the remedies that are being offered.
Of course, politics is an issue that may very well invoke strong passion in supporters. Everyone has a civic responsibility to act in a way that nurtures peace. There is nothing wrong with being politically passionate but it is not a reason for anti-social behavior or violence such as the vandalism of political paraphernalia or destructive criticism.
Youth should be exemplary in their behavior. Respect and tolerance are the elements of our character that should prevail since everyone does not share the same political preference. Therefore let us respect the opinions of others while not trying to force our opinions on others .It is often said that the youth is the future; therefore the onus is on the youth to keep the peace and to vote for a better, brighter future.