Election is the most foundational element of modern day representative democracy. It is contest for legitimate power that can be described as non-violent competition fought with a political forum and it also refers to the institutionalized procedures for recruiting political office holders by the electorates.
As long as there is complete adherence to the electoral laws and transparent processes, elections by universal suffrage is the major expression of democracy.
However, following the news on elections, there are clear indications that there are hurdles to jump over in a lot of democracies, hence the urgency and importance of developing and employing security measure as to prevent, contain, or control factors that trigger disorder and violence during elections.
Elections come with a special potential for crisis and for which special preparations and planning are required to prevent the crystallization of crisis. This is not to state that Elections by their nature are inherently prone to crisis, but the fact that the electoral process if not properly managed could exacerbate the tension and fault lives already existing in the society.
We now live in an age where there is virtually no moderation in the crass pursuit of self interest to the neglect of collective; ethics have been sidelined in all these pursuits for internal opulence. And in this pursuit of either self or group interest or even both, any available means is justifiable once the end is assured. This explains why elections and conflict appear to be companions however paradoxically this may be.
It is in this context that we deem it important to recognize that elections do not avoid confrontation but rather focuses on its management and containment with accepted boundaries.
In practice, the assurance of equitable security during an election process is essential to retaining the participants’ confidence and commitment to an election.
Consequently, security is both an integral and inseparable part of the election process.
While we may concede that there is no single model of elections or democracy that is universally applicable to all countries, it is understably obvious that an election is defined not only by electoral rules but that it is shaped by social values, political religions, history and culture of the people.
In summary, in view of the security risk in every election, the emergence of electoral violence is not a result of the process being followed, but signals a critical departure from the accepted rules that govern the process.
Thus, as the 2015 elections are fast approaching. Here are high level security concerns that individuals and voters alike are to take into cognizance before during and after the election.
Here are some few helpful tips:
At the polling station, keep your political opinion to yourself as discussing certain political parties, candidates are very tempting and emotional topics for some.
During the voting process, you are advised to cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
In cases of emergency identify before hand, escape routes and safe places.
Avoid crowded places or areas as they are hunting ground for pick pockets.
Do not carry valuable items to the polling station. If you must do, secure your belongings.
Avoid unnecessary heated argument.
Always be on alert for strange happenings around you.
Park your vehicle well away form the polling station.
If there is a hint of unrest, leave the vicinity immediately, if possible run!
Do not join student protects as unscrupulous elements may hijack the process for dastardly acts.
Do not keep late night during elections.
Observe critically persons already commuting through commercial vehicles before you enter.
Tell family exactly your destination if you are going out and keep in touch always.
Cell phones must be sufficiently charged with balance as well
Pick all calls, your social media to get vital real-time security updates.
Vote discreetly for your chosen candidate.
Selling your vote is selling your conscience, your vote is your power to change.
Keep your voters card safely.
If you must accept monetary inducement, do so and vote for your choice as there is nothing inherently wrong in accepting monetary appreciation from your choice candidate being a gesture of goodwill.
SHINE YOUR EYES
BE WISE, VOTE RIGHT…
From we, The Eso People