“If you were guaranteed a steadily improving standard of living, would you be willing to give up your right to vote?”
I came across this question when registering in a jobs Web site for freelance writers. I can’t be certain, though, if this was a general question or if they have sets of questions randomly given to writers. I found it interesting, nonetheless, and wanted to share it here on my blog.
My two cents:
The right to suffrage has always been fought for by citizens of a democratic country. I would probably do so in situations when people are denied of this right. However, where I come from, cases of electoral fraud, vote buying, and widespread cheating during elections never fail to herald in the news following any local or national elections.
It is quite a depressing situation knowing that, despite being bestowed this right, choosing a political candidate to sit in government posts is dictated by money and power. This is one of the reasons the Philippines remain impoverished – due to graft and corruption and because of money-hungry politicians whose primary intention, after securing their seats, is to get back the money they spent (and more) during elections from the people’s taxes.
So, we go back to the basic reason for choosing our country’s leaders: to expect them to give honest service and improve people’s lives by finding means to generate more jobs and efficient social services.
Nonetheless, and it might not be a far-fetched thought looking at Cuba as an example, what if a dictator rises up to ensure honest governance? Then, my answer would be a sounding, “yes”.
What good would it bring to have the right to vote only as lip service?
Nothing. I, personally, prefer a dictator whose aim is to choose the right kinds of people holding government offices to ensure that citizens are given a steadily improving standard of living despite having to put off the right to suffrage.
If this question was directed to me, personally, then I would like to know, first, of any costs it will bring on others. I do not want to step on other people’s toes. Hence, should I be granted a steadily improving standard of living at the expense of others, I’m afraid I will have to decline this lucrative offer.