“So do I vote for the candidate my conscience tells me would make the best president or will that be ‘wasting my vote’? What if voting for the best candidate splits the vote and allows a terrible one to win? Shouldn’t I go with the lesser evil?” A provocative series of questions passionately put to me by a really good friend and protégé a coupe of days ago!
My take? That’s a great question!’ [That’s what I normally tell people when I don’t have anything useful to say :-)] The next day however, I was sufficiently composed to give my friend a call and share some thoughts that I have personally found helpful. I hope you do too! Here’s what I told her…
1. I am not God. At the end of the day, God holds this nation/city in His hand. I believe that Kenya will still continue to be a great nation post Mon 4th 2013 and that whoever wins the elections, God will still be on the job (his post is fortunately not up for elections!) And the best part is – God is able to bless this nation and city regardless of who’s in charge!
2. I have been praying for a good president, governor etc. If I have found someone who I believe matches this criteria but now choose to vote for ‘a lesser evil’ to avoid a candidate I detest from winning, won’t that be countering my own prayers?
3. Even if I vote for the candidate I perceive as good and they lose, my vote might encourage them to not give up but to try again in the next elections. OR it might win them some influence in the next government. May the many good people running for office this year not lose hope and feel politics is only for the corrupt because of how I voted!
4. The only thing I have control over is my vote and ultimately my conscience. I want to be able to live with my choice and to say one day to my children that I voted, and that I voted for what I believed was the ‘good’, and not for the ‘lesser evil’
5. If my candidate wins, I will be elated. If they lose, I will be disappointed. But I will commit to support and help whoever wins, regardless of my initial feelings towards them, because they are now the God-appointed governing authority over me. After all, if they do well and succeed, so will this nation/city – and so will I!
6. I’m so glad this is the problem we are facing as Kenyans today. It’s what one of my mentors used to call ‘a good problem’. Freedom to choose our national leaders, good or bad, is a dream our forefathers gave their lives for. We’re blessed to be alive to make these difficult choices!
May God bless us all as we prepare to cast our votes in the next few days. Remember at the end of the day, we are ONE NATION, and that we are STRONGER TOGETHER.