Thursday, March 20, 2008

My First Day as a Registered Voter

Following the last couple of days' events in Kuwait, I finally came to the conclusion that I actually needed to put my words into actions. So I made made my decision to finally become a registered voter and become part of the country's 'democratic process' and participate in it's 'democratic weddings' that are schedule to re-commence in May 17th. "Hopefully", I thought to myself as I drove to my locale to register, "This time around, we would have less malarkey than the last time!"

The reason behind this lax in my political attitude is twofold. First, I was out of the country for some of my earlier years, and therefore unable to register. Second, I refused to participate in a Political System where there were so many electoral districts in such a tiny country, and one where the woman's vote was not allowed, negating the need for any democracy to take place, and therefore-by definition-negating the need for me to actually put any faith in this process. Now, with these options solved, coupled with the fact that the latest goings-on in Parliament have taken us to this subdued level of competency, there aren't many excuses for anyone to not register.

So I walked into my locale, and asked to register, noticing that I was the oldest man in a short line of 3, which made me feel slightly uncomfortable, since it's been 14 years since I became eligible. Producing my papers, the man produced this large book-keeper's ledger, sorted alphabetically, and searched through it's entries to find the first letter of my name, (asking be in the process what letter preceded it!) until finally landing on the right page, wherein he began to write my name and details down.

All this time, I had my eyes on a desktop PC with the CD drive open, wondering when the MOI would actually enter into the 21st century and start using automation to advance itself and the country!

Within approximately 15 minutes, I was handed my registration's slip, and became a voter. So I packed up my papers and got up, when the man suddenly asked me, "By the way, since it's been so long, I have to ask...why didn't you register for all this time?" I automatically answered "because I was overseas most of the time the electoral roll was open", and noticed that he had actually noted that down, making me wonder just how many people had actually used this excuse, and how many people had actually cared to look it up or product some form of statistics about it somewhere. With nothing more to do, I greeted the kind man goodbye and walked out into the bright cool morning, slightly unimpressed with my country's democratic establishment, as represented by the backwardly support infrastructure.

Driving through the streets of my suburb towards Kuwait City, and back to work, I wondered when all these nice streets and pavements would once again be littered with signposts and ads and flyer's, all publicizing politicians-to-be, making promises and alliances to the public, and how many of those would fall into this all too common political trap. And that's when it dawned on me, I was now a member of the electoral process, and I had a responsibility to vote properly, and for the right person, for the right reasons. A moment of epiphany caused me to realize the implications of what it means to be a registered voter, and that's when I remembered my 10-month old daughter, whose future depends on me now even more than simply being a father. It's not about being a parent to my children anymore, it's about being a 'responsible' parent for all the children of Kuwait.

My last thoughts on the issue, just before I walked into my office to start my hectic business day was "I wonder how many people are as aware of this responsibility as I was".

I wonder...

2 comments:

happy said...

the good news is that this time no pavements would be littered with ugly faces and empty promises :>

intlxpatr said...

"I remembered my 10-month old daughter, whose future depends on me now even more than simply being a father. It's not about being a parent to my children anymore, it's about being a 'responsible' parent for all the children of Kuwait."

YOU are the hope of tomorrow in this country, you and your contemporaries, and your children.