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There is no such thing as a wasted vote – your vote counts

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 02/11/2017

 

There is no such thing as a wasted vote – ‘Ofa Likiliki from the – Women and Childrens Crisis Centre – WCCC – believes making your choice on Election Day is paramount, whether your chosen candidate does or does not win, voting makes your voice heard.

 

The Director of WCCC said this at Day 3 of the election workshop for journalists, highlighting the power of the youths’ votes.

 

Earlier in the week, Supervisor for Election, Pita Vuki said that from the 2016 Census Report, a high percentage of voters who were uninterested in voting in the election, were youths between the ages of 21-24.

 

Likiliki said there are an estimated 26,000 youths and their vote could make all the difference.

 

“If only youth understood how much power is in their hands, I’m talking 26,000 youths voting on voting day, if they understood just how much power is in their hands, we would have a very different Parliament. 45 upwards to mid-60’s they are the lowest number of voters but they are the ones taking most of the space. It’s the youth voters who actually hold the power in their hands.”

 

The Director said in the last Youth Parliament held in TOnga, the results were encouraging because with that mock parliament, the youth had elected a female Prime Minister and the gender balance in the cabinet was almost perfect.

 

However, with a lack of funding, the momentum has been lost, but it is at times like these that civic education is vital to support not just the youths but the entire voting population because without having sufficient understanding on the election, voters can be influenced and their votes manipulated.

 

“That’s why I think civi education is so important, because your vote is not wasted, even if you’re the only one who voted for the candidate, you made your voice heard. That’s actually quite powerful. So I always say to people when they say to me, “don’t vote that way it’s a waste of vote,” I say, “Excuse me, my vote is not wasted, it’s what I’m thinking and what I believe that I put my tick and my pen to.”

 

With all the recent discussions surrounding the upcoming election, it is clear this is a great opportunity for the youth to use the power that they have in their vote, to be able to make a difference in this country.

 

© Radio and Television Tonga News