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These elections are our last chance

norDarko Brkan, president of U.G.  “Zašto ne”, which monitors and publishes broken election promises also presented five myths regarding why people do not vote and why participation in elections is important stating that “we have 21 days left, these elections are probably our last chance!”

Myth # 1 why people do not vote: All political parties are the same!

We have parties in power and parties not in power, therefore all parties are not the same, and whether we like it or not everyone should be responsible and vote.

Those political parties that are in power have the responsibility to be active and have responsibility for their results. The political parties in power currently include: HDZ, HDZ 1990, SBiH, SDA and SNSD. Representatives of these parties must display results of their activities during the four year mandate if they expect to be re-elected. They also have to prove they respected laws and did not misuse the trust they were given by voters.

Those political parties that are not in power also have responsibilities. Firstly they have the responsibility in monitoring activities of those parties that are in power and highlight negative aspects of their activities. They are also responsible for informing the public of what they would do once in power and how they plan to meet their goals.

Finally, responsibility is carried by citizens and voters as they delegate power to political parties to represent them and work in their interests. Therefore citizens and voters carry most of the responsibility. They are responsible in following the work of elected officials and determining whether or not their activities are in the best interests of citizens who voted them into power. Citizens are also responsible for informing themselves as to what opposition parties offer and if they should replace political parties in power. They are also responsible in being part of the election process either by voting or not voting.

Myth # 2 why people do not vote: Lack of new ideas!

Amending the constitution, institutional reform, EU candidate status, NATO membership, lowering taxes, finalizing privatization, revision of privatization, building of energy infrastructure, lowering public spending, return of refugees, development of agriculture, lowering unemployment, building transport infrastructure, reforming the pension fund, better education, etc.

Many would say these are new ideas for a better life. What is the problem?
The above mentioned is only a small part of a long list of broken election promises that the ruling powers articulated in their pre-election programs, including: SNSD, SDA, SBiH, HDZ 1990, HDZ.

Therefore, these ideas aren’t new ideas, they are old ideas. During this election cycle, these old ideas will be presented as new ideas by the ruling parties.

We don’t need new ideas, ideas are old, what is needed is someone that can deliver these ideas in practice!

Myth # 3 why people do not vote: Lack of new candidates!

This is certainly one of the most consistent reasons why it is cited that people do not vote is the repetition of same candidates on election lists and lack of new candidates.

It is also cited that new candidates are not trusted and compare them to new candidates of the past. Milomir Kovačević Strašni will in a few days open a exhibition of photographs when current “old” candidates were new on the political scene during the first democratic election in BiH in 1990. The legacy of those candidates is enough to generate distrust.

We need able, determined, and intelligent candidates with a vision and know-how. Whether these candidates are “new” or “old” is not relevant. In order to find able candidates among the 8.000 registered for elections, it is necessary to seek them out among the candidates.

Myth # 4 why people do not vote: None of the candidates cares about interests of citizens!

The public and potential voters allow to be manipulated, lied to, and stolen from, without demanding changes. How can anyone else help if people don’t want to help themselves.

Myth # 5 why people do not vote: We can’t make a difference!

After election day, Bosnia and Herzegovina definitely won’t be the same, including Republika Srpska and Federation BiH. These elections are vital for change to take place. What path we chose will be decided by voters and those who did not vote. Everyone has the responsibility in the following three weeks to inform themselves and decide. Will our future be brighter depends on all of us.

We have 21 days left. This is probably our last chance.