With the parliamentary and provincial elections closing in, Republica has been reaching out to people of several districts to understand their concerns and expectations from candidates. As part of this effort, today we are presenting comments made by some voters from Lamjung and Baglung districts. Excerpts:
Candidate should be capable
It is very sad to note that our government and institutions are increasingly becoming deaf and blind and turning insensitive. No matter how hard life of poor people backward regions have become, the center has shown no regard to ease their woes. In lack of even basic facilities, they are living a miserable life but the center has been self-centric. So, we need an overhaul in terms of thinking and service delivery. Just holding the election is not going to change anything until and unless the party leaders come up with vision and plans to address the problems faced by the public.
For instance, despite having federal states, attitude of overrating the center and neglecting the rural populace can sustain and continue depriving the rural populace of even basic rights. We have to be hopeful for the best and keep trying. But we also have to accept that politics is becoming dirtier by the day. When money and muscle can influence the elections, one has to fear for the future of democracy. We need real change here and for that we people must be very sensible. We must not support parties who are involved in power politics and cast our precious vote to the best and most capable candidate.
Women’s leadership will be better
We have seen many changes in the country over the years. Women have begun to come out of the four walls of their home and now are seen competing in the job market.
However, they are still not very active in politics. Participation of women in politics is must as only then can they make intervention in policy formulation and implementation. I am in support of widening the role of women in political leadership.
Women should be provided equal space in all state mechanisms. Though the constitution has reserved seats for women, we have seen that women are treated with bias by their own political parties. The patriarchal mindset continues to dominate. Though there are many social issues which affect both men and women, the latter are still facing far severe forms of domestic violence. So, I do believe that we, as a society will not grow if we do not have proper policies that address issues related to women as a whole. I urge to vote for candidates who are sensitive to such issues. I am going to vote for such candidates.
Dalits must be uplifted
Santa Bahadur Nepali
I remember that caste discrimination was very strong during my childhood days. We had to literally bow in front of so called high caste people. Untouchability was a deeply rooted and widely practiced. When I turned young, I went to India for job. I worked there for several years, almost around 45 years. In between I visited my village just around 10 times. Now, I am permanently settled here.
During these years, I notice that there have been changes. But these are still much at the surface level. ‘Cultural change’ is seen during public programs. But at the personal level, caste discrimination is still in practice. This has to change. All human beings are equal. We need leadership which don’t believe in waiting for ending such practice and can act to put an end to them.
Practical education must be promoted
Our education system has failed us. The state is not providing practical education to students. The country must seriously think if the courses that academic institutions are providing to students are going to be really fruitful for the student and the country. Policy makers have to seriously discuss the implication of the courses offered by academic institutions across the country. They have review if courses offered are relevant to employment market and if such courses are going to address the country’s short term and long term development plans.
We lack even basic education infrastructure in villages and towns. In such circumstances, how can the government fulfil its promise of providing relevant education to children and students? How can students that are provided with irrelevant and outdated generic education fulfil the complex technical need of our development projects? How can such human resources help the country in exploiting our natural resources? So, I feel that the leaders who have a clear vision and plan to upgrade our education system should be supported in the elections. Or else, we are never going to grow as a nation.
Vote for whoever blacktops the road
So far, no one has come to our locality asking for vote. When they visit us, I am going to first go through their election manifesto and see their priorities. Candidates whose party promises to upgrade our roads, I will support them. Our roads are in pathetic condition. If a locality does not have proper roads, it’s hard for it to develop. We have been facing this constraint. I want a candidate elected who will blacktop our roads.
Candidates with great past performance
During elections, they come to you and promise this and that. Giving assurances is an easy task. After the polls are over, they work without any reference to their manifesto. They completely forget the voters and what they promised to them. So, I do not want to fall in trap of such leaders. I will carefully check their past performance and on its basis will decide the candidate that I will vote for. While choosing from fresh candidates, we should be careful about their social and political image. We have to access their strength.
Local development must be prioritized
I am not impressed by leaders who promise launching ambitious projects in our locality. They are sweet to hear to but hardly practical. Such big projects hardly materialize. I want to know real stuff from the candidates, like what they can do in reality with existing resources. I am in favor of electing leaders who focus on developing local place. If we can develop our place, we do not need to be dependent on others for job or opportunities. We need candidates who can exploit our existing resources and develop the locality. Our roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, colleges and public offices should be operational and public friendly. I want to vote for the leaders who share my dream and will put in put in all efforts to materialize it. One who stands above party politics
Though they belong to one or the other party, they must stand above party when it is a matter of development, people and the nation. If leaders act like loyal dogs of a party even though acts are not in favor of the country, such politicians harm everyone in the long run. We have to choose candidates not on the basis of the ideology or party they support but should choose candidates who are promising. We have to analyze the strength of individual candidates and vote for a candidate that has the potential to deliver their promises to the public indiscriminately. It is high time we voters become more open and honest about our choice.