Today I went to register to vote. Another experience in Ghana that I don’t wish to go through again for another 4 years. As I have said before, in London, there is an electonic database, when the time comes to vote, a card comes through the post, on the day, you take your card, tick your name off, vote and be on your way. Here, you have to go register.
The day started off as expected, when my cousin finally arrived we drove to the registration location. All I can say is that thank God my cousin knew where to go. I had made 2 failed attempts to go register but didn’t find the place not knowing that I was totally in the wrong location. As I followed my cousin I realised that I wouldn’t have been able to find the place anyway.
The registration place was in a primary school way in the back of somewhere not too far from my house, I would not have managed to find the place had I not gone with my cousin, I don’t know how he does it, it’s like he is a human GPS. But I digress.
My aunt knew the assembly man so I assumed it would be a matter of giving him our details, he processes, we take the pictures and leave. Well on the plus side, we didn’t have to stand in line with very irrate and very unkept people. Honestly, I know it was early and the intention was to come early do the registration and then go home to start the day, but personal hygeine man, especially where you are in the midst of peope, comon courtesy would expect a little dab down under the armpits at least, but you get that every where, there are that one or two who just don’t care for things like bathing and unfortunately the rest of us have to suffer.
So assembly man was doing his best to break up fights in the crowd , complete our papers and I think he said something about an electricity pole which had fallen down, but he kind of muttered that as he shook his head walking out to find out what was going on. There were 3 fights when I was there, all three of them surprisingly were started by women. They weren’t physical fights, more a war of words, mainly because people were jumping the queue (the guys, chivolry is long dead an buried it seems). So while waiting many hours were spent walking around, watching some random guy who had taken it upon himself to keep law and order he later told us he’s an architect, so I assume his basis was to drum up business for himself.
So after 3 hour of the administration process, the digital camera breaking down and a long wait before actually got the card, I say card but it was a flimsy bit of laminated paper with my picture which looks like an armed robber who just got caught fleeing the scene of a crime, and a bar code which captured my fingerprints. After all that, they mad me dab my pinky finger in this ink which has left a horrible black stain which should wear off in a few days they say. The reason for this is that people attempt to register more than once. Why they feel the need to go and register more than once and waste all that time to do it is totally beyond me, but this is Africa and some people really do have time.
Well it was getting late and made an executive decision to not go back to the office, my nose was stuffy from taking in body fumes and standing in the heat made me feel a bit light headed. I was close to my spot so stopped off for a quick drink. I will save that conversation for another blog though.
So there I have it, I am now officially eligble to vote, and I can look my uncle in they eye and say that I have actually gone and done it as opposed to avoiding him as I have since the whole registration process started. But honestly, they say that politicians are all the same, but your vote really is your power. They are cheats granted, but at least I would prefer one that ‘chops’, but throws some of the meat to the nation to also feed on than to complain for the next 4 years about ‘the good old days’. We can’t just sit back and complain, if we vote one person in and he does a crappy job, we boot him out, it is because we say very little that these politicians do very little. They have the attitude that they can sit around for 8 years standard because that’s the way it usually is. If after 4 years a crappy leader gets booted out, it should shake them up to say at least let me be seen as doing a good job or else I may not last the distance. Which is why I will vote. I will not be voting for the person just because it is a family tradition or because to go with the majority, but because I have been in this country for 4 years now and I’ve seen what this present government has done, and my decision will be based on whether I think they have done a good job or not.
But that is all the politics for today.