mid-day editorial: No more voting for empty promises

With just one day to go for the BMC elections and campaigns on silent mode now, the focus of course, shifts to just how many people will go out there to the polling booths tomorrow.

Of late, we have seen a welcome facet in every election, from the local to the national. A sea change in thinking has led many to cotton on to the sentiment that everybody must go out and vote. We have seen massive emphasis on why we should vote, why it is imperative to do so and why you should consider yourself part of the system, have a stake in governance. If you are not bothered to try and change something, then why criticise or give your litany of woes later?

There are so many ways this has been taken up. From straightforward messages to go and vote, to incentivising it in different ways. Schools are telling kids to urge their parents to vote, eateries and establishments are offering discounts to those with inked fingers.

Yet what will really keep bringing people to the booth are politicians sticking to their poll promises. People want to see a change in living conditions in their city; they want to see civic authorities actually make an effort to improve the life of citizens. The biggest carrot is not discounts or pushing the 'go vote' message across — it is the prospect of a new order cleaning up the mistakes of the old, filling in the lacunae and, in a clean and honest manner, actually delivering on pre-poll promises.

If non-performance continues to cement the scepticism of a weary public, not even the world's best and most inventive initiatives will compel citizens to head to the booth. It is only honesty from our political class that will result in a change in culture. If candidates want people to go out and vote, they must deliver. It is as simple as that.

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