When I was 18 the greatest concerns in my life were dating girls, avoiding calls from my family, thinking up excuses to skip classes at school and constantly procrastinating when it came to all the important things in life. Aside from my immediate friends (and this would be for the very selfish reason of preserving the friendships I relied upon) I cared very little for others.
To be honest, I’ve only started to recognize my duties to my fellow-countrymen (that’s meant to sound bombastic, FYI) only after articles like these started popping up in Maldivian media. What about the article, you ask? That a hitherto respected component of the Maldivian media should be so biased is what gets to me.
It is almost as if the Minivan News team has become the public relations ‘boom-box’ (I wanted to use a more savvy term, but none so appropriate popped into mind) for the political left wing. Why? Because I have not seen a single article on Minivan News which comprehensively presents ALL the consequences and repercussions (both pro AND con), on the matter of lowering the voting age to 18 years.
You might think me harsh, but I feel Minivan News has overlooked the fact that the overall social awareness of Maldivians are generally lower than that of other countries – let alone the populace between the age of 18 and 21. That in the last 10 years the education in the country has degraded beyond that of most regional neighbors. That, despite the latter, the country’s budget has not apportioned an account for the development of educational and social development programs – while it does surprisingly SPECIFY an account of over 95 million US dollars, over 10% of the total budget, for something literally called ‘expenses for economic welfare.’ If I were a betting man, I would put a wager on the hunch that a thorough analysis of the adolescents (between ages 18 and 21, specifically) of the country would probably show a decline in their productivity and potential over the last 10 years. Given this, why would you endorse a bill that will put additional pressure on the most vital resources of the nation before they are prepared to undertake the task?
Dear readers, I ask you this: is it not important for the eligible voters of an institution to be aware of (and whole-heartedly welcome) their responsibilities? Should not the educational programs of a country be at par with those of United Kingdom and the United States before we follow their stead in empowering the people (after all, even in their case, education and social awareness preceded the empowerment)? Shouldn’t Minivan News be crusading on the subject of education and social awareness before the age of voting? Or is it not responsible, as an entity of Maldivian media, for creating unabridged (and not propagandist) awareness amongst the people on such matters as this minimum voting age dilemma?
To no one in particular: I was surprised to see one of my articles on factmaldives.com, which wasn’t altogether thrilling for me. However, this article I hope will be published by just about anyone who wants to!