The foolery of “my vote is my secret”
So I've often wondered why one’s vote must be their secret.
My understanding is, we celebrate individuality and we rally behind common causes to see them succeed. Yet here in South Africa, this is not the narrative.
Today we had our Local Government elections, where each South African has the opportunity to vote for their Ward Councillor & who they deem fit to govern their Metropolitan Municipality. The office of the Municipal Governor will then occupy office for 5 years.. the reason why these elections are a big deal… I've elaborated my understanding of this process at the end of this article for those interested*
.. I found myself wondering, why does our vote need also be our secret?
South Africa has a dim history of oppression where one assumes they liberated the other through the referendum, on the other hand, a political party that assumes independence on liberating the majority from the apartheid administration.
I questioned why anyone's vote would be a secret. My thinking is, the day we stop making our votes a secret, will be the day we allow our convictions to walk before us. Forcing us to bring change in the places we work and operate. I often wonder if this was not a plan from the old government to divide and conquer.
If we can publicly declare our political stance, we can then also gather and create implementation plans on how we can assist or facilitate the change we would like to see happen with the political parties we support, the bringing together of a nation.
I also understand that we all vote with doubts / fear, this fear/ doubt also known as hope, and faith in some deities.. We are clear on the worst that could happen, but we also hold a belief that our hopes will be realized. I figure the ability to vote is crippled by the secret vote narrative, it dissipates any ability to rally behind our hopes and fears.. to be our most vulnerable in the pursuit of the greatest that could happen because of our vote.. we often boldly declare our weak convictions — soccer, food, music.. but can’t venture the possibility of change that will water our offspring… this is difficult for me to understand.
I believe a true democratic country can publicly declare their political standpoint without being denied opportunities based on their political affiliation. I also believe we become agents of change in the spaces we operate. In a healthy state of democracy, we would meet and converse with people from opposition parties.. discussing our thoughts and understanding of our political manifestos.. while listening also to the opposition to hear their understanding and belief in the political parties they support. With this exchange, creating a place where both can mutually exist and benefit in the country of their birth.
If we cannot have intellectual arguments based on nothing but living experiences at the least, what do we have but a vote that casts the mark of exclusion to opportunity…
In essence, you vote for the change / effective strategies in your current environment (ward), and also vote for the leader of the metropolitan city you live in, the bigger scope, where each party works the hardest in order to have the opportunity to not only place themselves in the eyes of those who can see them in the ward area, but also based on their performance, the people who have seen them govern, can trust that their political colleagues in the various areas gathered together would be able to bring change to a metro. This is big news.