Influence on Government or Not

Voting is a right bestowed to everyone and entails a responsibility exclusive to the individual. With the right to vote comes the power to choose from among the candidates which the individual deems rightful and who stand out from the rest. Methods of voting are based on the majority rule which means that the candidate garnering the most number of votes is proclaimed winner. Erik Oddvar Eriksen and Jarle Weigard (1999) mentioned that voting gives people the right to express their opinion on particular issues such as laws, ordinances and to choose who they want to elect in public office.

Voting is indeed so powerful so much so that voters can decide who will become the leaders of a particular country. The fate of a candidate depends solely on his constituents who will deny him the votes or not. Is it the end or just the beginning of our influence on government? The question to ask now is this: is voting the end of our influence on government or is it just the beginning? During elections, government leaders make every possible means to win the votes of their constituents.

They persuade and try as they can to present their agenda – imagined or otherwise, once elected. This is where we are reminded just how significant our influence is during elections. Habermas (1996) said that the aftermath in a special spot for the active political rights is what distinguishes the citizenship. Habermas (1996) further said that this right may be used to boost sovereignty in that they furnish the citizen with important capacity that empowers him to assume matters which will sway his role in society.

Voting is not the end of our influence on government since it only presents our initial authority. When we vote, we are letting the leaders know whom we believe is rightful to take the place and we express our choice with the ballot. Our influence should go beyond the votes. Even when the chosen leaders have taken their place in government, our participation would still be needed to help them achieve their goals. Let us keep in mind that the government cannot function alone. It needs the cooperation of the society to realize these.

Our power as voters doesn’t just end there. We must continue to make our presence felt by participating in activities that will make governance a lot easier. We can take part in programs that require our involvement. Like two sides of a coin, government will not succeed in its endeavors without the constituents taking part. The government for its part should always consider the voice of the voters. Long after they took their oaths, they should remain true to their words and seek the aid of the voters in realizing their dreams.

Conclusion As citizens, we have responsibilities that must be carried out to ensure success of government policies. Goals of government leaders will not be realized unless the citizens will work together with them. This holds true with the government as well. Its main responsibility is to make sure that the well being of the society in general is in agreeable level. The individual was in direct contact with government authorities in far fewer situations compared to more recent times.

To sum it up, voting does not put an end to our influence on government but rather it only signals the beginning of our effect. We shall continue to hold on to our responsibilities as citizens long after the ink of our pen had dried up when we cast our votes.


Erik Oddvar Eriksen and Jarle Weigard, The End of Citizenship: New Roles Challenging the Political Order, ARENA Working Paper series: 15. 11. 1999] Jurgen Habermas, Between Facts and Norms, Mit Pr (1996)