A member of the parliament of Rwanda has proposed the enactment of a law for mandatory voting and asked that a debate be initiated in the house on the issue.
While reading the story my first instinct was that participation in the political process in general and voting in particular are citizen rights and not duties, and therefore making it mandatory to vote would be an infringement on peoples’ rights.
After due reflection however, I think that much as we cherish all our citizen rights and freedoms, it is our duty to ensure that those rights and freedoms are preserved and protected by making our voices heard.
Not only should everyone take part in the political process through the election of leaders and policy makers to preserve their freedoms, but each citizen’s active participation is also the best way to guarantee the quality of those rights and freedoms.
Democracy has stood the test of time so far as the best form of government; the government of the people, by the people and for the people, where elected leaders of society make and enforce different types of policies on the people’s behalf.
The Rwandan people have come a long way in nation building and are on a steady path to change their lives for the better, and in a democracy the best policies and strategies are validated through the people’s will.