The currently held Local Bodies elections in Chitral have once again highlighted the failure of the existing democratic practice vis-a-vis elections as a panacea for the ills of our governance system. Elections now are a test of the skill of the manipulators more than a judgment of the free will of the people. Even the voters have become experienced in cheating, fooling and lying to the candidates. The contesting candidates being of the same ilk, also employ all mean and foul methods they can perceive to defraud the voters who also like to be cheated and fooled.
Every candidate uses every method at his disposal to hoodwink the voters. Religious people use pulpits of mosques to scare the hell out of voters not intending to vote for them, while some use the names of dead leaders to gain sympathies, along with false promises and fake incentives of course. Some use outright cash to buy voters who are up for sale in abundance. Candidates bend down to abysmal lows, almost crawl up to peoples doors and send their female family members to voters doorsteps to beg for votes. Voters demand and accept everything but merit and suitability of the candidate to deliver on their problems and aspirations for a refined and better society.
Is this the essence of democracy? Is this the way a respectable nation behaves. No matter a hundred elections are held, with every successive election things will go from bad to worse.
Elections are not the answer. Meritocracy is the respectable and practicable way and the sooner it is adopted as a system of governance for our country, the sooner will our country be put on the rails to rationality and prosperity.