In democratic governance, a vote is a very valuable thing. For the voter it’s the precious wish the fairy has granted – a gem in the hand. And for those running for office, it is the prize they need to win to gain office. The voter doesn't often realize this great power he possesses in a democracy.
He who has been nurtured hitherto in despotism or autocracy has no inkling of this sudden windfall of influence he has inherited by the mere signing in of a democratic form of governance in his country. His mindset is still mired in that subversive state where he was told what to do. And if he didn't comply he would be caned or canned. Now the picture is completely reversed. He is the boss and the one running for office is the servant. But the old mindset doesn't just change in the jiffy of a signature of a pen on paper. This new mindset has to be brought in by active pursuit of the advocacy of democratic values.
Every social concept has its attendant values, and it lexicon. So has democracy. We must all learn these and be aware of their deeper implications. Its values are about the paramount nature of individual and collective rights. And the lead role the citizen and citizenry have in the governance of the community and state. In the hands of a well aware and mindful polity, democracy is a great weapon and a salve for social and economic development. Conversely, to those running for office, an un-mindful polity is often a dream come true. Unaware of the value of the vote, the naive voter is only too easily led down the garden path. It is not too difficult thus to have in our new and emerging democracies, responsible posts occupied by incompetent or unscrupulous officials – merely because those that got elected had to keep some of the unscrupulous promises.