Politics is the process of making decisions for the members of a certain group. In the context of this essay, it is about the decision making or governance of a country. In most political systems, the common man above the age of 18 has the ability to vote to select the people who will govern the country. How a country is run will have huge implications for its current and future citizens. Thus the common man should be extremely concerned with how his country is run. Even though he is not involved in the actual policy making, he can still make a difference by exercise his vote responsibly.
In a democracy, the common man has the ability to select the right leaders. In every democracy, elections are at the heartbeat of the democracy. Every few years, citizens are able to exercise their vote to select the leaders of the country. Citizens have the ability to read up about the candidates, what they stand for, learn more about their party and read the manifesto, etc… This will ensure that the citizen can make an informed decision about who to vote for. For example, during his election rallies, Barack Obama outlined his support for health care reform. This resonated with many Americans as many felt that this was lacking. He also outlined his intention to regulate the financial services industry at the time when the US economy was in tatters. These were issues which the common man was concerned with. The voters duly voted for Barack Obama as they decided that that was the right direction for the country. This shows that the common man had the ability to decide the future of his country and he should exercise this ability.
The common man has the right to let the government know when it misgoverns. Even when there are no elections, be it due to the political system or that it is not election period, the common man can exercise his right to revolt or demonstrate against the government when the country is misgoverned. In February 2011, President Hosni Mubarak’s 29-year rule of Egypt came to an end when he caved to mass demonstrations seeking for his resignation. His resignation led to the first democratic presidential elections in Egypt. President Morsi was elected into power in that election. His rule was short lived as he was overthrown in a coup in 2013 as the people were not happy with his rule. This clearly shows that the common man has the ability to be involved in politics. The common man, through his actions, can change the government outside of an election and even change the whole political system.
The common man can also get involved in politics through grassroots organisations and other interest groups. Citizens may participate as activists in political parties. In Singapore, grassroots leaders participate in Meet the People’s Sessions together with the Members of Parliaments to reach out to any issues which citizens may face. In Hong Kong, students from various universities started movements to protest against Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong’s government. Such movements are significant in letting the Chinese government know about the displeasure on the ground. Such involvement by citizens is imperative in shaping the future of a country. Without the common man getting involved through these channels, politics would be much less effective.
The common man needs to elect capable people into government to help him make decisions. If the common man is not able to decipher a good political candidate from a poor one, then the election will not result in a competent government. Citizens have to understand politics and how certain candidates may affect their lives and the future of their country. This is the reason why so many citizens attend political rallies just before an election. The common man has to know about the candidates on offer and he must make an informed decision on polling day. Without a politically aware electorate, the system cannot elect good candidates into government. Thus the common man is a very important factor in a political system.
Politics is about the future of a country. Any rational citizen would like his and his country’s future to be better than before. Thus it truly is up to the common man to exercise his right to question politically in his country to secure the future of the company. Thus the statement made in the question could not be further from the truth.