2 March 2017: Like every system, the present electoral system in Manipur does have its weakness and strength. However, it is still a crucial aspect of our collective life. It is through this system of election that we elect a few ordinary women and men like us to take the responsibility of governing our collective life on our behalf. Therefore, it is worth remembering certain issues while exercising our voting right.
Private Vs Public Interests
The people whom we elect as members of the State Assembly shall represent us, including the interests with which we elect them. Thus, if the interest(s) that guide our decision to cast our votes for a particular candidate or party is private and personal, the elected individual will also likely to represent similar interests, namely, his private/personal interests.
On the other hand, if the interest(s) that guide our decision to cast our votes for a particular candidate or party is informed by issues of public importance, the elected individual will also likely to represent similar interests, namely, public interests rather than his/her private/personal interests.
We ought to remember that corruption, which is the abuse or exploitation of public offices and wealth for private gain, is a product of a political culture dominated by private interests.
Issues of Public Importance as Criterion to Decide Your Vote
Thus, while choosing our representative in the coming election, we must keep in mind the issues of public importance as the criterion to decide who we should vote for.
In this regard, we appeal to the electorates in Manipur to choose a candidate based on (a) the views of the candidate hold on the issues of public importance (b) what that candidate has done and intend to do on those matters of public importance.
Please also keep in mind similar concerns while evaluating the political parties. Their election manifestos may also be used to evaluate the political parties and candidates in this election.
Significance of NOTA
If you think that the candidates and/or political parties are insincere and unworthy of representing you, you must convey that rejection by casting your vote for NOTA. That rejection must be communicated rather than remaining silent by not casting your valuable vote. You silence encourages self-seeking individuals to go public offices.
Please remember that under the existing law, NOTA does not technically disqualifies candidates (that is, even if NOTA gets the highest number of votes, the second candidate who comes second will be declared as elected from that constituency). However, it is crucial for us to remember that not communicating your voice of rejection of unworthy candidates and political parties is to encourage decadence in our society and polity. Besides, think of the moral pressure on the person who may go on to become MLA even as she or he has been defeated by NOTA. That moral victory is important in an increasingly unethical political culture.
Thus, if you think that the candidates (and their political parties) in the election are insincere and unworthy, choose NOTA to voice your views and fight decadence in our society.
Please Vote for a New Political Culture and a Life with Dignity
Please come out and exercise your democratic right to convey your views. Election is one crucial moment that you get once in five years. Convey your acceptance or rejection of people who would get access to the wealth and power of the state to govern our collective life.
For People’s Campaign for Resurgent Manipur,
Kapil Arambam, Media-in-charge
2 March 2017
PCRM is a group of citizens of and from Manipur who are concerned with the prevailing state of affairs in our state and thereby seeking a change towards a new and better Manipur wherein the people—as collective and individuals—can live with dignity and well-being. The campaign seeks to fight against the private and vested interests that seek to undermine the basic fabric of a collective life in Manipur and bring about a new political culture wherein public morality and issues of public importance play significant role in our society and polity
Visit our website http://resurgentmanipur.org/
FB Page: http://facebook.com/Peoples-Campaign-for-Resurgent-Manipur-178175075719099
Email: [email protected]
WHAT WE ARE IS WHAT MANIPUR IS.
WE CAN DO IT. WE CAN CHANGE IT.
This Campaign is to
– fight against the private and vested interests that seek to undermine the basic fabric of a collective life in Manipur and
– bring about a new political culture wherein public morality and issues of public importance play significant role in our society and polity
Correspondingly, the Campaign seeks to
– cultivate a culture of dialogue and debates in order to generate informed opinions and choices on public issues and
– make the political class, public institutions and leaders accountable to the citizens as individuals and as a collective;
In pursuance of the above aims, the Campaign seeks to
– encourage and cultivate the involvement of private citizens in the affairs of the collective, and
– engage and monitor the functioning of public offices and institutions as well as the ways in which public officials and elected representatives of the people respond to or address the issues of public importance.
Who initiated this Campaign?
In pursuance of the above aims and an objective, this Campaign has been initiated by a group of citizens—mainly, professionals, students, youths — of and from Manipur who are concerned with the prevailing state of affairs in our beloved state and thereby seeking a change towards a new and better Manipur wherein the people—as collective and individuals—can live with dignity and well-being. It was formally launched on 18′” October, 2011.
However, those who have initiated the Campaign are only the facilitators and co-participants of a process for a resurgent Manipur. The Campaign rs fundamentally all about self initiative and involvement of each and every citizen of Manipur to bring about a change in the affairs of our beloved state. Thus, it is, and has to be, a Campaign of the citizens, for the citizens and by the citizens.
Election is not about making kings and feudal lords to master over us. It is about choosing our representatives to govern our collective life.
If we choose to our representatives to serve our individual private interests, our representatives shall also do the same by representing our character by exploiting public authority/offices and wealth for their individual private interests.
Keeping in mind the various issues of public importance, we must choose our representatives to govern, not rule over, our collective life.
Time to reaffirm our self-respect and presence by expressing our acceptance or rejection of candidate(s) and political parties. Let us remember, far from being cynical, it is far better to choose either a candidate as our representative or reject them by choosing NOTA!
Discourage rogue and self-seeking individuals from getting access to public offices. Reject those who treat you and I as a commodity that they can buy.
Vote for your-self respect…
A life with dignity and a resurgent