Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, June 24th, 2021

The Challenges of Effective Voting in Political Context of Afghanistan

As we are in the eve of holding presidential election, there is no more than a week for people to choose their favorite candidate through casting their votes in the ballot box. In fact, we are nearing to a moment and golden opportunity to decide whether vote on basis of rationality or emotion, program or promise. In fact, our county is in a very sensitive point of history needed to a well qualified political leader being able to deal with various complicated social, political and economic issues at the same time. Though naturally people want to vote for rational criteria such as expertise, better program and so on, practically the emotions are more likely to win the rationality in the context of Afghanistan. For example, in the last elections, many of highly committed personalities with advanced qualification such as PHD or Master Degrees failed but some traders and inexpert people succeeded to win the elections.
There are several factors and challenges why people cannot vote for meritocracy; the main factors can include poverty, low political literacy, weak political culture and demoralization of people by some candidates. In addition, one of the main weaknesses of people is lack of having a searching habit for political decision making. Probably a large of number of people do not know what qualifications or what report cart their favorite candidate have. Therefore, they are easily deceived by alluring promises, emotional speeches, money, food, language and other traditional differences. On the other hand, our media, writers, analysts and political figures intentionally or unintentionally demoralize people by prejudiced label of corruption, election fraud and other negative points.
Therefore, it is extremely expected from impartial thinkers and writers to take part in promotion of a right political culture in Afghanistan. Initially, people must understand the importance of election, especially the importance of upcoming presidential election. Unfortunately, majority of people are indifferent to their political fate tending to belittle the national process.  According to a recent survey reflected in the media, around 56% of people are not willing to participate in the upcoming election. In last elections, there were cases that young people voted for good-looking faces and nice fashioned candidates without giving importance to the consequences of their action. These kinds of example might be more in rural areas of the country. As a result, in last parliament election, we sent some weak representatives who blamed for giving or taking bribe in first opening days of the parliament. However, there are always some aware and committed people who know that the presidential palace is the place of political decision making, not an engineering site or clinic for medical doctor.
In political culture of Afghanistan, people tend to vote on the basis of race, language, religion, money and so on while in advanced political culture meritocracy is the first and the last criteria for voting. In Afghanistan, political mistakes are frequently repeated due to political sophistication and fallacies propounds by weak candidates. Unfortunately, weak candidates, instead of introducing their programs, they use from every wrong option, including money, power, raising social differences and buying people’s vote. As a result, a large number of people will not go to the ballot box with well-consideration of sensible views, but with the attitudes and interests of their personal, ethnic, linguistic, and regional tendencies.
In political environment of Afghanistan, the roles of individuals are more important than role of state structure. It means, we need to pay more attention to characteristics, personality and background of our political leaders because the president’s personality, mentality, believes and attitudes will affect the whole political decisions. In this context, a corrupt man can corrupt the entire nation while a righteous man is able to rectify the whole nation.  With looking at history of weak countries, we will come to understand that sometimes one person could rescue a big nation. If we select a wrong engineer, he might impair only one building but if we select a wrong political doctor he would destroy the whole society. Unfortunately, most people neither are aware of importance of election nor know the criteria for making a right decision at ballot box.
Most often, we forget to vote for a committed, unbiased and patriotic personality; unfortunately, the current situation and the economic dependencies of our country are such that some patriotic people are victims of their loyalty and attitudes. The candidates for presidential positions should be patriotic and have a popular tendency to bring people and the interests of the people at the top of their decisions. Those who do not have sense of co-operation with people or are not people-centered ethics cannot be useful and voting of such people is useless. Those who have their family out of Afghanistan they cannot work for this country because they cannot feel the bitter of poverty and affliction. thus, they do not have common a fate with Afghan residents.
Last but not least, we also forget to note that our next president must have a coherent and applicable program for solving problems of the country. In order to achieve this goal, the candidates should be able to analyses the root cause of problems. It means, if a doctor cannot diagnose the disease properly, issuance of prescription would not be effective and may even aggravate the illness. Therefore, the tasks of the candidates are rooted in proficient identification and analysis of the problems. The programs that are provided without scientific support and unprofessional work are ineffective and will not cure the pain of people.