Buy buy, bye bye or by and by

During and after our general election, February 21, there was much talk about the buying of votes. Can votes be bought, in actuality?

In our system a Prime Minister chooses what he/she thinks is the most propitious time to call for an election hoping that the electorate buys into the notion that all is well and will be well with the current government.

A minister of finance may conjure up what is called an “election budget” or a party may promise to “turn big rocks into bricks” in the first 100 days following the next general election.

Yet again, platoons of “grass-cutters” and “weed-wackers” may be turned loose weeks or months before “the bell rings”, only to be let go soon after.

We have heard of the distribution of hundreds of pieces of electronic bling — cell phones, i-pads etc., and other goodies prior to the elections. Does that constitute the buying of votes?

Also, there have always been charges that votes can be and were bought with cash. In such an eventuality both the provider and recipient have been dishonest. But who knows how anyone entering a polling booth really does vote? The so-called picture proof on a cell phone can be just a hoax since one individual can carry out that prohibited photographic act and subsequently send the picture to any number of friends. So if one pays who knows what they will get. Only a fool pays.

In America the Republican Party is carrying out large scale gerrymandering across the country to try to ensure their permanent majority in the House of Representatives. From time to time constituency boundaries have been changed, locally, but the results do not always favour the change agent. Of course in America elections are all about money. If you don’t have it you are unlikely to be a successful candidate. Buying the vote?

On another matter, did I hear right that the Central Bank was concerned about the high level of loan financing made available to local consumers; I wonder what has caused this situation? Are loans the primary resource left to individuals after savings and fixed deposits have almost been depleted as we tackle ever rising cost of living? Are we re-financing and re-re-financing our debts? Are we forced to spend more than we can make from one job or one source of income? Well if we are, we certainly don’t have the NIS to fall back on.

Is it okay for government to continue to spend more than it takes in, but we who may even have to contribute to “reverse remittances” because of the plight of relatives in Britain or US may soon have to undergo a credit squeeze and say bye, bye to survival? Wow!

So what are you to do about the buying or the spending? Only you can decide, perhaps neither a buyer nor an (over budget) spender be. What can I do? I think I will take over the running of the government by and by.

What? LOL? Maybe not, perhaps it’s only we (each I and I = we) can create change by and by. Are you ready to help? Did I hear you say ‘by and by.’ Chicken!

— Michael Rudder

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