Sunday, May 15, 2016

I am voting for the most basic reason!

Cesar sculpture - Photo Tarek Chemaly
So I voted today.
Interestingly, in Arabic, probably a concept taken from our French colons, the deed is called "wajeb intikhabi" - electoral duty. It is based on the idea that a vote is a duty to society to enhance democracy and the democratic process. 
If anyone has been following this blog, my disillusion with the system is way too obvious. Still, I could have skipped the day altogether, or went there and put a white ballot as a form of protest, but what did I do? I duly voted for the mayoral and municipal elections.
Why? Well, if you discount change, democracy, grassroot action, citizen participation and all other philosopho-conceptual reasons, I voted for the most basic reason at all.
I come from a village where, these days, the electoral process is rather civilized. Gone are the days of animosity between lists, followed by vendettas from the winners and all that. In the electoral station, I duly greeted members from both opposing lists, spoke with acquaintances and friends on either side of the fence, Casted my ballot early in the morning and went back home.
Once more, why? Well, obviously because I come from a community, and showing my face and my ballot on the election day has the same weight of going to condolences (interestingly, also named "wejbet" - plural of wajeb or duty). It brings solace to people, makes them feel on equal standing, solidifies social ties and gets people closer.
Philosophy is nice, but it does not make your neighbour sympathize with you.
So my vote was, above all, an act of saying I am part of this village, family, clan, and homogeneous people who surround me. If I am or am not that is a different idea, but a ballot was cast today!
And instead of my own thumb dipped in ink I am showing you the Cesar sculpture at the Hirschhorn Museum - a bit of art on this Sunday won't hurt!