Citizens and democracy

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In democracies, informed people can become responsible voters, who vote wisely while keeping in view their mutual benefit. Unfortunately, in case of Pakistan, voters are seldom informed about the value of their votes and due to this, they elect those individuals as their representatives who serve their own interests rather than national ones. Over and over again, voters are neglected but they vote for same demagogues because they do not know about their right to know, if they had been kept informed, surely, they would have taken advantage of.
Globally recognized leader and noble laureate Nelson Mandela while emphasizing the importance of informed voters said, “An educated, enlightened and informed population plays active role in promoting the health of democracy” Surely, informed, educated and enlightened population plays active role in promoting democratic norms, values and culture. There is no denying the fact that educated and informed voters cannot be deceived easily because they know the value of their vote and similarly the repercussions of wrong voting. Voters are necessary and basic elements of democracy and success and failure of democracy depends upon them. Franklin D. Roosevelt, who is often said to be one of the wisest Presidents of America, also talked about the role of informed and educated citizens in a democracy. He asserted that, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely.
The real safeguard of democracy therefore is education.” The main problem with democracy in Pakistan is ill-informed and less educated citizens who do not know the price of their votes. Therefore, if democracy in Pakistan is to survive, first of all citizens should be informed about both their rights and duties; social or political or whatsoever. The citizens in a democracy should be allowed to freely express their choice and they should be made able through education to take wise decisions as their decisions decide the destiny of their nation.
WAHEED ALI CHANDIO
Islamabad

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