By Thamar Jones
If you are 18 years of age or older, here’s hoping you had taken the initiative to become a registered voter and you are planning to get out and vote in the upcoming general elections. This year’s election goes beyond who will be Prime Minister. Your vote is your voice on issues that directly affect your life. Issues such as housing, education, employment, job security, healthcare— all directly affect your overall quality of life. It is your voice on who should lead our country. Voting is your chance to stand up for the issues you care about like public transportation, job security, education. This is your country and your life: take the time to help decide what’s best.
Some people might have grown fatigued by the constant political talk, ads and constant political bombardment and might even be feeling like their vote hardly matters. After all—it’s just one vote. But here is why you should vote and vote wisely on November 11
Elections have consequences.
You have the power to decide what type of characters will lead our country for the next five years. It is important to learn what the plans of each candidate and party for the development of our country are. Apart from learning the plans, it is important to keep track record in mind. Which party or candidate have proven that they can do the work? Who has invested in education, infrastructure, health, the economy? It is important to carefully consider these decisions because this will have an impact on your life and the life of future generations.
Not voting is giving up your voice. Elections are decided by the people who go out and vote. Take some time and learn about the measures and the candidates. If you don’t vote, someone else will make the decision for you. Your power is in your vote. Voting is your civic duty.”
If you are not yet 18, or are not a Belizean citizen, you can still participate in the election process. You may not be able to walk into a voting booth, but there are things you can do to get involved:
Be informed! Read up on political issues (both local and national) and figure out where you stand.
Get out and talk to people. Even if you cannot vote, you can still voice opinions on social media, in your school or local newspaper, or other public forums. You never know who might be listening.
Volunteer. If you support a particular candidate, you can work on their campaign by participating in phone banks, doing door-to-door outreach, writing postcards, or volunteering at campaign headquarters. Your work can help get candidates elected, even if you are not able to vote yourself.
Participating in elections is one of the key freedoms democracy in Belize. Many people in countries around the world do not have the same freedom, nor did many Belizeans in centuries past. No matter what you believe or whom you support, it is important to exercise your rights.
By Thamar Jones