An Analogy Of What Democratic Government Should Be To Its Citizens – Why Voting Is Crucial – By Mpho (MrSir) Matlhabegoane

An Analogy Of What Democratic Government Should Be To Its Citizens – Why Voting Is Crucial.

By: Mpho (MrSir) Matlhabegoane

According to Google Dictionary, the term “government” means “the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state; a particular ministry in office.” Wikipedia says that a government is the system or group of people governing an organized community. Cambridge Dictionary defines the government as the group of people who officially control a country. Most of the definitions of the government centre around control, administration, authority, executive policy-making, ruling, protection, regulation, and the sundry. However, looking at the government as this gigantic organization that we don’t feel ownership of is a slippery slope for many citizens like the ones I have recently interviewed about politics.

I grew up on Abraham Lincoln’s definition of Democracy, which is “a rule of the people, for the people and by the people.” When clarified, it means that it is a form of government in which the rulers are elected by the people. This is supposed to be perceived as every citizen of a democratic country is part of the government. The difference between government and government officials was later introduced to me through this explanation: A government is the voter, and a government official is one who is voted for. My confusion had been that if I don’t feel like I control my country, how am I really a government. Then – I started comprehending these terms using business terminologies, which I may use to simplify what government actually is for everyone.

If ten people gather together for the sole purpose of opening a company that they don’t have the time and skills to run, they may need to appoint an official, more like their representative. The ten people will be the “owners” of the company, or they may be referred to as the “shareholders” and the “directors” of the company. The official they will appoint, on the other side, maybe the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), occupying the top position in the company. The CEO is the one who will then be responsible for electing the managers in the middle and the operational workers at the bottom of the hierarchy. However, all ten owners are likely to disagree on which person will be the CEO. So, they will have to consider having candidates to run for the position, and they will vote for the one they prefer most. The candidate who gets the most votes is the one who gets the position. The candidate will have to be the person whose qualities please the majority of the voters.

Trusting the CEO with their company is not the end, for they will have to keep on having board meetings, to measure the success of their company, to get reports on the decisions made and also demand accountability from the CEO when things go South in the company. Provided that the CEO does not meet the owners’ demands and goals, the owners may cast votes to fire the CEO if the majority want that CEO out. Then, they will look for a new CEO, and the cycle continues. The owners benefit from the company, through the returns on their shares, and other means of contentment, but so are the workers of the company and the clients or customers of the company. The main aim of the CEO is to serve the owners, to manage the workers, among other functions. As much as the CEO earns a lump sum of income through his position in the company, they should always know that the owners of the company, and the clients of the company come first.

Running a democratic country is analogical to how owners run their company. It just happens on a larger scale. As many citizens are, they are the owners of the country, and political party leaders are the candidates we choose from when we are looking for a CEO. When we, as the owners, vote for the CEO, we are basically choosing the president of the country. The president, with his political party, will then hire managers in the middle of the hierarchy, or “shuffle the cabinet.” Then, delegation goes downwards from the top, through multilayered lines of management to the bottom of the hierarchy.

Voting for the president should come from trusting an official with your company (which is your country – since the money the officials are managing is your taxes – your money) and you should trust that they will make the right decisions on your behalf. This is why voting is very crucial. It is only through voting that directors/shareholders of a company can actually control their company and in turn, hold the CEO accountable. So, conduct your own research on all candidates, watch interviews, read articles on them, do a background check on them and choose one whose qualities please you – one you are confident will represent you well. Then register to vote, and cast that vote. A country is a big organization, and we all own it. Hence, we should all participate in running it.


About the author:

Mpho (MrSir) Matlhabegoane is one of the A! Hub Writers. He became an Activator in 2019, and through Activate! Change Drivers, he underwent educational training with Programmes such as SWITCH Entrepreneurship Programme, National Mentorship Movement with Printing SA and Citizen Journalism with The University of Witwatersrand (Wits). He is a Mental Health Awareness Advocate, and to spread mental health awareness, he published three books that have been accepted by Gauteng Department of Education as of 2023, namely: The Story of MrSir (Word For The Record), Expanding The World Of Nerds, and Views and Emotions (Poetry Journal of MrSir).

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