Defending my non-voting rights…

By Jamille Broome
September 06, 2015 – newsday.co.tt

Vasant BharathLast week, the Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications decided to trample on the Constitutional rights of the non-voting section of the electorate, by saying: “I think as we mature as a society, we’ve got to take a more active part, otherwise, you are not in a position to complain subsequently or to demand anything.” Or, in colloquial terms, “vote or hush allyuh damn mouth!” Of course I’m not surprised by Vasant Bharath’s irreverent spiel because his party has been known to disregard the rule-of-law and violate human rights, left, right and centre. Cue Bail (amendment) Act, “Section 34”, and the State of Emergency .

Nevertheless, according to our (which includes those of us who choose not to vote) Constitution, section 4(e) gives us the right to join political parties and to express our political views. In jurisprudence, this is what we refer to as the “closure rule,” which embodies the concept that everything not forbidden by law is permitted by law .

Therefore, the right to join and express, is just as valid as the right not to do either .

Voting is a right, not a duty. It is not compulsory like it is in 22 countries around the world. And there’s no “civic duty” of an individual to vote for the betterment of society. Voting is a highly subjective experience, comparable to one’s sexual orientation, religious beliefs or absolute autonomy over his or her body. If I choose to be promiscuous or have an abortion, that’s my business. If I choose to lead a life of meditation, self-chastisement and celibacy, that’s my business .

Equally, if I choose not to exercise my right to vote, that’s my business. And no one should be berated, devalued, coerced, humiliated, or bullied for taking a stance. But again, Vasant’s party is known for this kind of behaviour as well. Cue Keith Rowley’s rape allegation and expulsion.
Full Article : newsday.co.tt

3 Responses to “Defending my non-voting rights…”


  • Voter apathy is not uncommon in many parts of the world. If over 60% of voters actually cast a vote one can say that election reflects the views of the majority. One nation that has an over 60% is Australia where you could be fined for not voting.

    The emergent third force a combination of white, mixed, Chinese and a small percentage of both major races could form the Spoilt Ballot Party. That way they can legitimatize their voting rights as a bunch of morons whose petulance for behaving as a spoilt child whose toy has been taken away is heard. These movements arise and then like a snow cone in the hot Sun is melted away.

    Yes it is their right to go and spoil their ballot, just as it is their right not to complain when the political masters ignore them.

    • Wow Mamoo we actually agree on this.

      The ”spoil your vote movement” can only come from a group of self indulgent, privileged and decadent people, who clearly have distance from the struggle that others have fought and died for the right to vote. Only a group of vacuous people on the wrong side of history could have conceived such an idea.

      I totally agree with Vasant Bharath.

  • I didn’t read the man saying you had to vote.

    Nevertheless what most people miss is that voting is just one part of the democratic process.

    Not voting, and just voting once every six years, by themselves are equally harmful to good governance

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