Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Who Pay the Prices? Voters or Candidates?

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Who Pay the Prices? Voters or Candidates?

In a country like Afghanistan where relationships between voters and candidates are defined top-to-down not down-to-top, it is easy for candidates to get the votes and forget the voters. This scenario is exacerbated when the lives of the people are mattered. So, given the above point, one needs to answer this crucial question: Who pays the prices? Voters or candidates? The annals demonstrate that those who are placed at the bottom of this relationship pyramid simply pay the prices with losing their lives. Because in a to-to-down leadership model, these are the bottom liners who need the assistance and aids of top liners. In other words, top liners consider themselves superior and better than bottom lines.
Such a top-to-down leadership model is manifested well in the relationship between Afghanistan’s parliament representatives and their adherents. But with the advent of presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections, this relationship is reversed – meaning that those who are the at the top of the pyramid need the help of bottom liners. This reversion is temporary and symbolic. Why is it ephemeral? According to political scientists and leadership professionals, top-to-down leadership models are rampant in underdeveloped, illiterate, and traditional societies because in these societies the public is not well-aware of their future; therefore, they confer their political and social destiny to their leaders. If some temporary changes occur in the relationship between leaders and their followers, in other words, if the top-to-down relationship is reversed between leaders and their adherents is due to some attractive but deceptive promises.
Before occurrence of the terrorist attack in sixth District of Kabul in the west of Afghanistan on Sunday, April 21, 2018, Afghanistan high ranking governmental officials and the members of parliament repeatedly asked and requested the people to go to ID registration centers for obtaining their voting cards so that they can vote on the day of election. These authorities continuously emphasize on getting voting cards by the people whenever they are invited to a TV debate or interviewed by reporters that one can easily infer from their words that they really want to get rid all the challenges that Afghanistan is encountering nowadays. But that might not be the whole reason. The reason that they urge too much on people to get voting cards is that they need their votes, otherwise, they may not bother themselves to talk about the importance of having a fair and transparent election for improving the economic, social, educational, and security situation of Afghanistan.  As it is open to the public that those who nominate themselves for parliamentary election often invite their followers for dinner or lunch to project that they really care about their adherents. During their campaigns, they constantly talk about solving their problems, promise them hundreds and thousands of jobs, comfortable lives, providing education for their progenies, improving their security, enhancing their economy, and helping them at government offices for tackling their problems. But unfortunately, once the election is over and the candidates have achieved their targets, the real personalities of these candidates are displayed -  all their promises and oaths are being swept under the carpet, again their relationship reversed from down-to-top to top-to-down. So, let’s not forget that those who shout out today enthusiastically that people must obtain voting cards, they may not shout out for solving our problems as willingly as they do nowadays, after the election. These representatives will not even remember us if one day we tend to meet them for solving our problems. First, it takes days and days to get an appointment to meet them. Second, we might be able to meet our representatives and talk to them face to face about our problems if we know someone who is close to them otherwise, we might not be able to meet them leave alone solving our problems.
From this analysis, we can conclude that in Afghanistan, the votes are more important than the voters. In democratic countries where there are accountability and justice and the relationship between candidates and voters is horizontal, not top-to-down, both politicians and people need each other’s cooperation and support. The politicians and leaders’ comfort and tranquility depend on people’s and comfort and tranquility. If people’s lives are hurt, the leaders and politicians will pay the price. For instance, if accidents to the extent of the blast that occurred on Sunday in the west of Kabul take place in countries where there are democracy and rule of law, people’s representatives will resign from their positions because of their job derelictions leave alone dismissing and bringing to justice the responsible authorities. It echoes one pivotal point – because in those countries for the representatives, the lives of their voters are on their top priorities while in Afghanistan the votes of the voters are on the top priorities of the representatives.  

Hamid Bamik Graduated from Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. He can be reached at hbqwf@mail.missouri.edu

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