The Editor, Sir:
I was offended by Mr. Delroy Chuck's article entitled 'The silly no vote campaign'. I was not, however, surprised, because I suspect that most politicians would rather we (the citizenry) remain in ignorance of who really has the power. I endorse the 'No Vote' campaign because I believe that the vote is the most powerful force for change - change that is good and uplifting or change that is bad and backward/non-progressive.
I listened to an interview with the political ombudsman, Bishop Herro Blair, on Nationwide Radio. In the interview, he said not voting is tantamount to selling your vote (though he subsequently withdrew the statement). The fact that he used strong language would endorse 'No Vote' campaign views that the vote is 'sacred'. The church that I attend encourages the members to vote, but it cautions us to vote for people who will not, when elected to office, pass laws that will oppress the people and override God's Law.
Let's look at this hypothetical scenario. If I am aware that candidate X is involved, covertly, in criminal activities, whether directly or indirectly, and because I am a die-hard follower of the party he represents, I vote for him/her knowing fully well thathe is unworthy of the office, wouldn't I also be responsible for his activities which, based on his/her track record, will only be disastrous for the country?
I believe in God, the Creator of the universe. I am accountable to a higher source than political parties and therefore cannot vote 'willy-nilly'. The candidate who gets my vote, must give verbal and, most importantly, non-verbal commitment/guarantee to truth, integrity, honesty, fair play, etc. Because if I vote for the wrong person and he/she gets elected and passes laws that oppress or laws that legalise what God has condemned in His Word, I will be held accountable.
Another reason why we should not vote until we are given guarantees, is the fact that our politicians over the years have given us a 'six for a nine'. Quite frankly, we are in dire need of some honest politicians on both sides of the House. Politicians generally have too little respect for the truth. We hear them everyday on the airwaves, twisting and turning the truth in the game of one-up-manship, and now that election is near, we hear them repeating the same in the ads.
It is time that we Jamaicans wake up and make them sit up and listen to us. It is time to put Jamaica first and party affiliation far behind.
Please don't mix-up the 'No Vote' campaign with voter apathy. Voter apathy is negative and defeatist while the 'No Vote' campaign is positive and pro-active.
I am etc.,