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"Vive le Ballot Box! – the protest and the vote"
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"Vive le Ballot Box! – the protest and the vote"

Sam BayesWe owe it to those people suppressed and disenfranchised elsewhere around the world to make the most of our democratic right to vote, writes 27-year-old Commonwealth Correspondent Sam Bayes from London, England.

As revolution continues to be in the air in North Africa and the Middle-East, comparisons and look-a-likes have been sprouting in the west faster than the spring daffodils.

The UK is currently in flux, the coalition government is living up to its own prediction of being the most unpopular in a generation.

The cuts imposed on us by the financial situation and the continued mega bonuses and tax giveaways being paid to the bankers and commercial giants have left a bitter taste in the mouths of most.

The outcome has been to borrow from the revolutionary spirit of Egypt and protest. Don’t like the government?! Protest! Don’t like Global Corporations?! Protest! Scared for our environment?! Protest some more!

There are students breaking government windows then going home to tea, a group called UK-Uncut holding obscure dressing up games and holding sit-ins in high street shops and all these activists are being ludicrously compared to the people struggling under tyrannical governments in the Middle-East.

Now don’t get me wrong it’s important to use our ability to stand up and shout. We’ve secured that right and it’s our duty to use it. But I’d like to make a plea to anyone able to vote, whether home or abroad, we have a power that so many in the world are fighting and dying for.

We can have a very literal effect on the way our government operates. We need to vote! It’s an even greater responsibility then protest; it’s the chance we have to make our voices heard as clearly and as decisively as they’ll ever be.

Bug your friends and family to get out and do it. Whether here for our UK elections or anywhere else in the world, we owe it to the people that can’t do vote to make the most of it.

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Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. All articles are published in a spirit of improving dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please click here.

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