Go out and vote!

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AS the 2019 local government elections draw closer, I urge each and every citizen of Trinidad and Tobago who is eligible to vote to go out and exercise their franchise. This is a great civic responsibility.

When half of the voting population refuses to vote, it erodes democracy. It creates a sense of cynicism among those who believe their vote does not matter.

People must have a passion and interest in the political process. No one must say or feel their vote is not important. It is very important since one vote can help make the difference, be it for good or, God forbid, for worse.

For instance, in 1960, when Richard Nixon contested his first US presidential election, he lost to John F Kennedy by a margin of less than one vote per precinct. In 1923, Adolph Hitler won the leadership of the Nazi party by one vote. And in 1869, president Andrew Johnson was saved from impeachment by one vote.

Therefore, our vote is a very precious commodity. It is not something we can barter or sell to the highest bidder. Our vote is the civil instrument by which we choose the best government and representative to manage and guide the affairs of our community and our country.

Our vote has the power to protect us from unreliable representation. If we do not go out and vote, should we then have the right to complain?

Rishi Lakhan