It is a symbolic representation of blanket voices to get rid of the growing disenchantment with the present leaderships.
With the federal and provincial elections slated for November 20 just around the corner, the ‘No Not Again’ campaign on social media is rapidly snowballing. It is primarily a group of intellectuals campaigning for youth leadership to take over the helm of politics from the aging leaders. It is a symbolic representation of blanket voices to get rid of the growing disenchantment with the present leaderships.
In Nepal, elections are customarily driven by the emotions of the general public for vote bank. The voters cast votes with expectation of changes in return, but unfortunately, Nepalis hardly witness any change. Hitherto, due to the existence of over-centralized power, vested interest, clan interest and high-command cultures, the frustration is substantially seen in the public sphere. As a result, the ‘No not again’ campaign is gaining popularity. Such momentum is observed on social media platforms as an alternative mode of expressing discontent voices. Those candidates who believe politics is their permanent profession and call themselves as people's representatives but in the real sense exploit the voters over and again are incorporated in the list. Therefore, the campaign calls for voters this time not to vote for the elderly leaders who are unfit to rule in the eyes of the public.
Meanwhile, the adult franchise rights are guaranteed by the existing constitution of Nepal. Since the inception of the ‘No not again' campaign, it has been widely circulated not to elect the same old leaders who had resided multiple times in the musical chair. In solidarity with it, the supreme court has also stated that the ongoing campaign is the epitome of freedom of expression as per Article 17(2) of the constitution. But even so, In 2014, the supreme court issued a landmark verdict which set a precedent for the voters’ “right to reject” votes if they didn’t want to vote at all. Similarly, such practice has been practiced in countries including India, Spain, Colombia and the US state of Nevada. In this regard, the campaigners have requested the voters to say goodbye to such candidates by not voting for them again.
If this campaign would have any meaningful impact in the upcoming election, Nepal would probably take a leap forward in becoming a mature democracy. The 16th US president, Abraham Lincoln famously said, “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” In this sense, balloting can be the only futuristic way to replace the old leadership by dignified young leadership. It has become necessary to overthrow the present leadership-centered system which has turned into an endless mess because of corrupt politics. To get rid of it, the campaign is advocating for the use of voting rights wisely to welcome a new competent leadership for establishing a suitable system.
‘No Not Again’ is a populist approach to get rid of the organized syndicate system of repeatedly elected leaders. Its catchphrase is to elect a robust candidate for a paradigm shift of leadership and to change the status-quo of politics. If voters reject an aged leader, it will pave way for a new and competent candidate. Therefore, the awareness level of voters would decide the fate for the country.