Respect for Voting

People are losing respect for the right to vote.  In many countries around the world, corruption, lies, and bad voting policies are consistent problems with elections.  The right to vote is something that should be sacred and protected worldwide, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

Recently, marches have occurred all over Russia, protesting Vladimir Putin and his authoritative rule.  It seems that no matter what Putin does, and despite what the people want, he will come out on top of every election.  The next election is scheduled for March 2018 but the people don’t seem to have much to vote for.  Putin was initially running against Aleksei Navalny. Navalny had been an avid supporter of the anti-corruption protests occurring, but these gatherings did not seem to shake Putin at all.  They lacked leadership and organization, something the Russian people so desperately needed.  Unfortunately for Navalny and his supporters, his dedication to the opposition got him in trouble for illegally organizing protests.  In the aftermath of his actions, he was arrested for failing to have a permit.  Now, his chances at defeating Putin in March seem to be dwindling.

   
  
   
  
    
  
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Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images 1

For nearly twenty years, Putin has prioritized Russia’s standing on the world stage.  However, this has come at the grave cost of the livelihoods for many of his people.  Corruption has ravaged the country, perpetuating the inequality between the powerful, wealthy oligarchy and the majority of Russia’s people.  Despite the lack of an improving life for Russian citizens themselves, Putin has continued to win the elections by drastic margins.

People are being disenfranchised by their own leaders.  The power citizens should have in the electoral process is disappearing for many people.  Putin has won year-after-year by huge margins.  The people are not happy.  Standards of living are extremely low in Russia, but a change in leadership doesn’t seem possible in the near future.  Putin has his sights set on building Russia up as a world superpower, while many Russians are neglected, their lives wasting away.

Many of the Russian people now believe that a vote in the election is not a utilization of their rights, but a contribution to fraud.  It is widely accepted that fraud and rigged results are common in Russia’s predictable elections.  So, why would people vote?  They have come to know only a life of unfairness and powerlessness.  Why should they take part in a system that is constantly taking advantage of them?  This truly embodies a tragedy of democracy.  A system that was created to empower and prioritize the people is now a sham, leaving millions of people with little, or no, power at all.

Russia is not unique.  Stories like this have become commonplace in countries around the world.  Unfortunately, I think that many people have grown numb to it, but this injustice should not and cannot continue.

Fewer and fewer people are exercising their rights to vote and this is truly dangerous.  When people vote, they contribute their opinion to the leadership of their country.  They tell the world how they want to be represented. 

We show the value of voting by exercising this right.  The simple act puts the power in the people.  It allows people to stand up against injustice, and use their voices to demand progress and good leadership.  World leaders need to take a stand against corrupt voting practices.  They must bring a political revival to countries who claim to embrace the democratic tradition and remind them of the power of a single vote and a fair election.  People need to start using their voice again, fighting against those that try to smother it.