By: Victor UkatuT
his election, no doubt will be a deciding factor for how Liberia conducts business for decades to come. I speak for a great deal of Liberians who share the same sentiment that this will be the most important election. We have an opportunity to see a transition of power in Liberia. For a lot of the youth, myself included, we have never seen that transition in Liberia. Neither have we been fortunate enough to see the Liberia we deserve. Transition of power, formulating an agenda for Liberia for the next few decade, are but a few of the reasons why I believe the Liberian youth should be very active in this presidential and legislative election. The youth of Liberia can be the biggest winners this election, by deciding how their future takes shape. Their hopes, dreams and vision for the Liberia they desire can be achieved by actively participating in this election thus helping to set Liberia on a new path, here’s how:
- Realize your power: The youth of Liberia, according to the CIA world facts book,(those between 15-30) far outnumbers any other age groups in the country. This means your voices matters the most. Your power lies in your number. Elected officials want to be elected again, so they will listen to you. The same goes to those who are seeking public office for the first time. Hold on to your vote for the person who presents the right solutions to the issues you feel is the most important. Do not give up your vote easily. Even if you are not of voting age yet, your voice still matters. You can talk to your peers, your parents, as to why a certain candidate is good not just for Liberia, or but your future.
- Ask the serious questions: It’s election season, so of course political aspirants will be on the hunt for votes. They will come to your cities and towns and claim that they are going to make Liberia great again (we’ve heard that before). They’ll claim that they’ll build new schools, hospitals, and roads. They will bring electricity, jobs and much more. Those are all great things to hear, and aspire towards. We do need these things, and we want these things. They all sound great, but you should not promise your vote to a politician just because they say they are going to do something. Instead, ask them how they plan on getting the work done. Let the word “How” become your best friend this election season. If a political candidate cannot present to you a clear, and concise plan when you ask them how they plan of getting these things (roads, schools, jobs, etc.) done, then they have nothing to offer you. You might like the person, but remember this is about your future, take their answer seriously. Also, remember they need your vote; they are applying to you for a job, if you do not like their application you do not have to hire them to be your representative in congress. Lastly, by asking politicians the “how” question, you pressure them to step up their game. They will know that you will be watching them when elected.
- Get organize: The best way to ensure that you and your peers’ voices are being heard is to get organize. Connect with them; host a group at your house, a local church, a local bar or any meeting place you can find. Have discussions about the candidates. Create social groups that share the same ideas of a plan for Liberia as you do. Create a youth message (Our future, Our Decision) that resonates with other youths in your neighborhood. Meet with local school clubs. Set up tables that convey your message, needs and wants.
- Contact your Representatives: There is no reason not to contact your representatives. Again, they work for you. If they cannot find a time to respond to a letter, or email you send then you have to reevaluate whom you hired or who is applying for the job.
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