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January 01, 2012


Nicolette Bethel

While I agree fundamentally about one's duty to participate in the democratic process, to register and to turn out at the polls, I think that this argument is one-sided. The right/duty to vote must be coupled with an attendant commitment to the development of democracy—the duty of the politicians to present viable candidates to be voted upon, the duty of politicians to also be statesman and to set themselves forward not for personal gain but for public service. There is nothing sacred about a choice between two sycophants, which is all too often the case. So while I agree that too many excuses for not registering are glib and disrespect the sacrifices in The Bahamas not so much of Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela or Aung Sun Suu Kyi, but of Etienne Dupuch, Milo Butler, Randol Fawkes, Eugenia Lockhart, Georgiana Symonette and Mary Ingraham, I am not about to let politicians off the hook so easily. To quote Pat Rahming,

... vot’n
is the only power the people gat
‘cept vot’n ain’ much power
if somebody else guh choose
the choice


Rick Lowe

Hey Nico:
While I have always voted, albeit I've been tempted not to a couple times, I'm glad I have the right to choose to abstain when it comes to voting. And this right to choose, I believe, is the reason Ghandi, Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela or Aung Sun Suu Kyi, or Etienne Dupuch, Milo Butler, and many others set out on their noble journeys.
All the best.


I always tell people that they should register to vote in order to preserve their options (unless they are Jehovah's Witnesses who don't vote because it violates their faith.) To me, once you have registered, if you chose not to vote, that is a statement as well and an equally valid one. If I found myself in an election with a group of candidates I considered to all be unacceptable, I would still cast a ballot, but I would spoil it - writing in a name I did find acceptable (I was tempted to do this once.) Again, that's a statement as would be casting a blank ballot or as I once saw a voter do, ripping it up and dropping it on the floor. To me, registering to vote is your statement saying you are participating in democracy - how you chose to exercise your right to vote is up to you and I consider all choices to be equally valid ones.

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