Stories about voting

Brexit: Britain’s chance to flex its economic muscles

All the pundits and economists predicted Brexit wouldn’t happen and yet here we are, nine months on with Theresa May signing a letter initiating a two year negotiation process to culminate in Britain’s divorce from the European Union (EU).The 44-year-old tumultuous marriage which has seen Britain enjoy tariff free trading and travel within the EU, will now be ripped apart and the minutiae of the separation will be attempted to be agreed upon. Brexit itself was a huge surprise but May’s calm, structured and organised approach to the whole matter has surpassed critics.  Going forward, crucial questions on Britain’s access to ...

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This Independence Day, it is time to let go of Quaid’s 14 points

In 1929, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah gave the Muslims of India his 14 points, in response to the Nehru Report which was published in 1928 as a memorandum outlining a proposed new dominion status constitution for India. These 14 points became the cornerstone of all our SSC and HSC Pakistan Studies examinations in post-independence Pakistan and every youngster to date has read and memorised these points. However, I have always wondered why learning these points were so imperative. Are they still valid today? Surely not. They were a rebuttal to the Nehru Report, outlining what Muslims of India demanded from ...

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Did PPP really handle the assorted marches ‘better’ than PML-N?

There is no doubt that, on the face of it, the Zardari administration has handled the political crisis of Imran Khan’s and Tahirul Qadri’s previous marches much better than the Nawaz administration has so far. However, the constant comparisons that political pundits have made between the two situations are not only unfair but also erroneous. The reason that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government was able to handle the situation ‘calmly’ was not because Zardari is some sort of a political mastermind. Contrary to what we would like to believe, the PPP’s response was not part of some strong commitment to a ...

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May 11, 2013 changed Pakistan for the better, will May 11, 2014 do the same?

On the eve of  May 10 and 11, 2013 I saw a very different Lahore. Lahore was completely crowded with families and teenagers supporting their respective political parties, majorly PTI and PML-N. A poster in central Lahore asking citizens of Pakistan to vote. ‘Say yes to vote’ Photo: AFP From Liberty roundabout to Hussain Chowk and from Hussain Chowk to either side of Firdous and Mini Market roundabout, roads were jam packed with cars and motorbikes. It seemed like nothing else was more important to anyone that day, they came out to celebrate and their democratic festivity showed! To represent the spirit of ...

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Indian Elections: I vote ‘None Of The Above’

As India inches towards the half-way mark at the parliamentary elections, political commentary aside, what caught my interest, as a former citizen, was the ‘None Of The Above’ (NOTA) option on the electronic voting ballot. Just the fact that one could register a no-vote is in itself fascinating, as it moves the arm chair critic from the couch and into the voting booth. On digging deeper, it seems that this concept of registering a no-vote goes back to a recent Indian Supreme Court ruling where the voter, in all his or her wisdom, must be given the right to register a NOTA vote ...

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Democracy cannot work in Pakistan, not yet

In 2015, we will celebrate our 68th year of independence. In these 68 years, the world around us has changed a lot. For better or for worse, we too have changed as a country. The only thing that has remained constant for us over time is the ever prevalent outcry for a democratic political system. To put it in the simplest of terms, a democratic system is one in which a government is elected by a voting process where every eligible citizen is entitled to vote. It is not however ‘majority rules‘ as many of us assume it is — that is a fallacy. ...

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Voting inaccuracies in NA 256 and NA 258: We need a better system!

The May 11, 2013 elections were historic for Pakistan. The eyes of the world as well as the hopes of the country were pinned on them. These elections deserved the full attention of officials who were responsible for their execution. However, the fact that inaccurate software was used is inexcusable. All software used to decide the fate of a country should be state-of–the-art and the best possible available, not technology that has been discarded as being inaccurate, for what is the point of even having elections if the date is not correct? On October 7, 2013, the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) ...

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My grandfather died two days after casting his vote

On May 13, 2013 my maternal grandfather Abdul Majeed, died at the age of 85. He was suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. (COPD). As a result of this illness his lungs were not able to function properly and fill in the required amount of oxygen. This became the eventual cause of his death. Not only was he bedridden and totally immobile since late March, he had been finding it increasingly difficult to breathe since the beginning of May. However, despite his condition, he actually took the trouble, fought severe pain and found the strength deep inside him to ...

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The stories of three first-time voters

My first voting experience By Aaminah Qadir A junior at Yale University studying Global Affairs and History of Art. I arrived home from college, excitedly, two days before the general elections to cast my first ever vote. The 2013 elections were too precious to miss. Pakistan was begging for a change. I had previously heard that it is only the elite that will vote for drastic change, that only a small minority will support a new face, but what I heard was wrong. My entire family and I reached the polling office in Korangi at 8:20am. I was baffled to see a line of over ...

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Election day tips: Be prepared, there is no separate line for the rich

I remember the days leading up to the general elections 2008 like it was yesterday. I was working as a news reporter for Dawn News based out of Karachi and the intensity of the chaos which usually forms the climate in a newsroom was building up. The channel had drafted in and trained dozens of volunteers to help tabulate the Election Day results. The creative department headed by a young and talented lady was working full throttle, churning out savvy graphics and what appeared to be Star Trek inspired tunes especially created for the occasion. Our director news, a short smurf-like character that reined terror and ...

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