“The only time you have a voice is when you cast your vote.”
I have heard this line used as encouragement to get more people to sign up to vote. I happen to believe it is a lie and a dangerous one at that.
People often wonder why Bahamians in general are so passive. It’s because we have been fed a line of BS for such as long time that it has become ingrained in who we are as a people.
Take the simple sentence above for example… it means well but it implies that outside of voting you don’t have a say in what the government does . So regardless of what is happening in the country, you can do nothing to change it.
Therefore, if Bahamian voters accepts that the only time we have a voice is when we vote, then why should we protest the sale of BTC? Or the high gas prices? or the corruption and conflicts of interests? or the high crime rate, high unemployment rate …. why should we demand accountability from our government?
This is the line of thought that paralyzes the people, that allow them to be taken advantaged off. This thought process is why, despite all that happens in the country, people grumble among themselves but never show up to protest.
I have nothing against encouraging people to vote, in fact I wholeheartedly support it. But lets not define it as the only voice we have. People all over the world hold their elected officials accountable in many different ways all year round.
In The Bahamas we have been miss-educated into believing we have no influence outside of voting. This is why our elected officials feel quite comfortable showing up to our doors on the eve general elections after being missing in action for the whole 4 year term.
So this time around Don’t just register to vote, register to hold elected officials accountable all year long. Register to protest if necessary.
One person acting out of personal conviction can change the world. Imagine what a group of people can do…