top
   
home archives gallery project contact  


Stepping Stones
Edition 7
Stepping Stones
Edition 8
Stepping Stones
Edition 9
Stepping Stones
Edition 10
Stepping Stones
Edition 11
Stepping Stones
Edition 12
Stepping Stones
Edition 13
Stepping Stones
Edition 14
Stepping Stones
Edition 15
Stepping Stones
Edition 16
Stepping Stones
Edition 17
     

“To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”- Louis L'Amour

While I was writing this week’s edition of the Stepping Stones, I received a visit from a friend of mine, who is a pastor. I paused to spend time chatting with her because she is a dear friend of many years, and she had a lot to say about what was happening in our country, while we remained silent and seemingly contented.

Among other things, she inquired about general elections in the Turks and Caicos, wondering out loud if there were going to be any such event this year. While she felt that elections would not be held, she said men are going to travail before God this time, when they realize the thing that they fear most has come to pass.

She said, “I am not ready yet to lose my country to another language and this is not the time.” She said, she believes that God is telling her to pay attention to the elections. She said the men of the Turks and Caicos Islands should step forward now and she alluded to unity, instead of separatist, partisan loyalties.

However, in her opinion we had one large stumbling block. From feedback that she received, she understood that we were not registering to vote and was already out-numbered in that regard.
Well, I want to join forces with the many who have appealed to us to go and register. One of the most critical ways individuals can influence governmental decision-making is through voting.
After my friend left my office, I decided to try and offer some information to you via Stepping Stones this week, and to encourage all of you to register, so that whenever election is announced we can cast our votes.

While I do agree it is not the easiest process, and yes, for many it may be costly, I must say that it is so important to vote, that I hope we understand that and make the sacrifice to pay for whatever documents are needed to complete the process, such as birth certificates.

For many years, and in many countries persons have fought for the right to vote. The right to decide the persons best suited and trusted to rule, to change and contribute to policies and be a part of the decision making process.

The rights to vote was adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, and it recognizes the integral role that transparent and open elections play in ensuring the fundamental right to participatory government. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article 21 states:
Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his/her country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

If the right to vote no longer exists, (as it is now in our Turks and Caicos), the country would no longer survive as a democratic country; and just imagine how much worse it can become, if we are just experiencing the relatively early stages now.

When you do not vote, you give away your right to influence the government of the day. More importantly, not voting takes away the "will of the majority” that governs any country.

The apathy that many feel is due to the belief that sometimes voting makes no difference. That though we may elect different people, the same old policies continue, especially the spirit of the policy and politics. However, voting makes a difference. Especially today, with such a wide array of urgent issues that must be taken care of after the next general election. These issues include Vat, health and education and so many others.

One vote puts us one step closer to an independent Turks and Caicos; and I feel it is extremely important for everyone to exercise this vital constitutional right.

In many countries around the world, people vote to choose their leaders and also to decide public issues that affect them as a people. People also vote to make decisions in groups such as juries, labor unions, corporations, and business meetings.

Voting is the primary way to exhibit good citizenship and civil responsibility. Voting in free elections is a right that should not be taken lightly. Millions of people in the USA and around the world have fought for the right to vote. Voting is a patriotic act and everyone should participate.

The future of the Turks and Caicos is in the hands of the voter, so make your way to the nearest Elections Office, find out what needs to be done in order to be added to the voters list and do everything you must.

Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor to King Henry VIII of England coined the Latin phrase, "Qui tacet consentit". Translated, this means “Silence means consent”. Simply put, the idea here is that if you don't disagree, you automatically agree. Keeping quiet is the same as giving permission. Silence did not save Sir Thomas More, who lost his head. Must we lose our fugitive heads here in the Turks and Caicos before we speak out? Have a voice, have a say. Vote.