DECIDE MALDIVES 2013.
As the second multi party democratic election in Maldives fast approaches, it was a disheartening realization how uninformed the average voter is in making this very important decision, discharging this very vital right and duty as a citizen of Maldives. Our voters are often fueled with narrow minded hate-feeling that disables their ability to stop and consider that some of the candidates that they do hate, actually have pros to them, there are reasons why they might make good leaders. And as for the other extreme those of us fueled by adoration to a certain figure, fails to realize the possible repercussions of the Presidency of this respective candidate. So we attempt to completely profile each candidate and bring to you all his contributions and exploits alike, in one document for the voter to be better informed in discharging their duty.
Another very important thing, we failed to realize in the 2008 elections, is the importance of the running mate or the potential vice president. It is not just the candidate who is contesting in the election and it is not just for the candidate that you are casting your vote. You are casting that vote for the running mate as well. Recent events had shown us, how much of a possibility it is for the vice president of the nation to assume the top office, in different events; in the event of death, resignation or disability of the President. And even if this won’t be the case, the Vice President is one of the most important political posts in a nation and only a capable leader should be declared VP. That being said, we would also be profiling the lives of our running mates, this time around.
Lastly and maybe most importantly, we would be writing respective pieces on the manifesto of the candidates. For democracy to prevail in Maldives, we must all envision a day where voters vote on the basis of the manifestos as well, not just the party spirit. A manifesto is a mirror image of what each candidate hopes to bring to the nation and hence, it is vital for us to select which of these public policies is most feasible for our nation while doing our constitutional duty of voting. And in this spirit, we bring to you ‘Decide Maldives 2013,’ a series of articles about the candidates, running mates and their respective manifestos. We realize, that we may not be able to make such a large imprint with these articles, but even if one person reads them and looks at these elections more broad mindedly and choose objectively, we would consider it a victory.
We believe something very important that the average Maldivian should realize by now for us to progress as a democracy is that leaders are first among equals, yes but they are not the be all and end all of our system. Sure, President of the Republic is a very important figure, maybe the most important figure and hence, we have chosen to profile the potential future Presidents, but it is important for us to realize not to go to extremities in our love or hate for our Presidents. A President doesn’t make the system or the people; we the people make the system and it is also us who makes the President and hence it is in our hands, to make or break our country. A president ideally is just someone who we have elected as our representative to govern as we wish.
Another very prominent feature of Maldivian democracy is the mischief of the party spirit. In saying this, we do not mean that being loyal to your party is wrong; one must be strong in their conviction or political ideology, hence their political party, but when the time comes one must have that individuality within them to think beyond their party and put their country first. It may be your party, but it is made of humans and we humans are prone to mistakes. So your party is not above making mistakes either, it is up to us the people to correct them when they go wrong.
It is possible for one to be impartial in their views, but not completely neutral. Neutrality in essence, is a difficult feat to achieve and in our opinion sometimes it may also be equated with indifference. One can only plead complete neutrality if he is detached, removed from the affairs of the country but to be involved brings out a passion and a sense of what we believe to be right or wrong and this dismembers this neutrality. But in the writing of these articles, we do attempt to be as unbiased and as impartial as humanly possible. Not all the views that are expressed are our own personal convictions, but both sides, both takes to a matter or a person has been included. Despite this, we do realize that we may be accused of partiality from both sides and that’s just the way it would be. We are not perfect, we too have our own political opinions and it is quite probable that despite our best efforts, some of these opinions might have crept into these writings.
Another important thing, the readers of Decide Maldives must understand is, as it is evident to an informed reader, the functioning of the Maldivian Judicial System, is very much far from optimum and disease has plagued it for many years. Hence, if we were to only take proven allegations against our candidates and running mates, we would have petty little to work with. And that is why, we have included at times even the unproven strong allegations and rumors which we believe to have an impact on the political life of the person and political scenario in Maldives, at large.
Before we conclude, as we approach our elections, we feel it’s necessary to mention the vast number of people who maybe have already decided they would not vote. Disheartened by the previous leaders they have elected, maybe they have lost faith in democratic Maldives. But it is important we realize every country goes through this phase, where we are forced to elect the lesser devil. This time is no different, but not voting is not a solution. It’s our right to vote, it’s our duty to vote, even if it is to the lesser devil, so to speak. We must not give up on Maldives, she is our country, she is our motherland, and she has made us the people we are today. She is diseased yes, but we must heal her one step at a time. So, we must vote, we must make our public opinion heard, we must even contest to important legislative or administrative posts (councilors) and take the fate of our country into our hands. Be the change you want to see, together you and me, we will save Maldives. Maybe not through this election, maybe not through the next but slowly and surely we can and we will. In this spirit, we bring to you ‘Decide Maldives 2013’ and all we ask is for you to read and to read again and to decide, objectively.
TEAM DECIDE MALDIVES
Hussain Mohamed Haneef.