According to the Free Press organization, the biggest objection by people to voting for a Third Party is the “wasted vote” argument — the idea that if you vote for someone who may not win, then the vote does not count.
Join any third party and merely suggest that another person consider voting for a third party candidate and you will hear, “I don’t want to waste my vote.” Many making such statement does not fully understand the meaning of a wasted vote.
What is a Wasted Vote?
An unprincipled vote is the only wasted vote.
Voting for a third party, contrary to popular belief, is not a wasted vote.
What is voting? It’s a chance to tell the country — and perhaps even the world — what your vision of government and society really is.
But how do most of us vote? Today, the majority of Nigerian believes Muhammadu Buhari of the APC or Atiku Abubakar of PDP is the best candidate, most in tune with our own feelings, actually vote for them? No. Instead, most people vote the “lesser of two evils” — a defensive vote, rather than an offensive one.
The lesser of two evils is still evil.
So what happens after you vote the defensive vote? Well, then you have sold out your personal beliefs. You have become a political prostitute. You are not standing up for what you believe in by voting “the lesser of two evils.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being a political hooker. If you think the APC or the PDP really does best mirror your beliefs, by all means, vote for that candidate. But if you don’t, and you still vote for them, you’re helping to preserve the status quo you probably despise.
So What’s the Point of Voting?
We as individuals don’t vote to select the winner.
As a practical matter, we vote to tell everyone else which choice best represents the direction which we want the country to go. When you vote, you gain a certain power that a non-voter doesn’t have; the power to change Nigeria.
Hence voting lesser evil sends the wrong message; it’s sending a message of compromise. In effect, a defensive vote says “I will settle for a good Nigeria, not the best Nigeria possible.” I urge you not to settle.
Remember, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. In other words, if you want change, then create change.
Even if once in your life you missed the chance to cast that mythical deciding ballot, the harm from selecting the wrong person in one election is more than offset by a lifetime of giving voter support to the lesser of two evils rather than standing up for what you believe.
So rather than waste your vote on APC or PDP, cast a meaningful ballot that clearly says what you believe.
After watching both PDP and APC make promises that frequently become lies, two conclusions should become evident: (1) The lesser of two evils is still evil, and (2) the only way to waste your vote is not to use it for a candidate that sends the message you want to send to Nigeria. In all honesty, It doesn’t matter which evil you vote for if evil still wins.
By Adekunle Shaibu