Voting on the national agenda
With 53 more days to go before the General Elections, Samoans are slowly getting ready to cast their votes. And some people have already made up their minds about whom they are voting for.
The Samoa Observer caught up with some of the voters yesterday and asked them about why they are voting for the candidates they have chosen.
Rainer Brown, a 21-year-old who works as an Employment and Labor Market Officer at M.C.I.L, said he is excited as this will be his first time voting.
“I am a citizen of this country and it is my right to vote,” he said.
The 21-year-old from Lalovaea did not want to reveal the name of his candidate; however, he said he gave voting a lot of thought.
“I am voting for someone [that] I know will bring good change to our district and who is willing to help our people,” he said. “I think everyone should think carefully about who they are going to vote for before making up their minds."
“Don’t just vote, instead vote for someone that you know will stand up and make a difference.”
Rainer also encouraged all the young people to vote and “vote for the right people.”
“The young people who are eligible to vote should all vote. That is our contribution to decision making in this country. Remember every vote counts, so let us all vote for a better Samoa.”
Rainer praised the achievements of the ruling H.R.P.P.
“They’ve done a tremendous job with the development of our country and I believe that they deserve to win again,” he said.
Nua Mata’ita’i from Moata’a has also made up his mind about whose name he will be ticking on the day of the election. The 53-year-old said he will vote for “someone with the least promises.”
Talking from experience, the employee at Lamana said that in the previous elections, a lot of candidates promised to do a lot for the district and ended up not fulfilling their promises.
“I am giving my vote to the person whom I believe will stand by his words, and that is why I said that I will vote for the person with the least promises, because he will be the least disappointing one if he cannot fulfill his promises.”
He also wanted to remind all the citizens to not just vote but to also vote for what they believe is right for our people.
He said a change of government “would be nice.”
“Changes are always good, as long as they are right for our people and country, and I wouldn’t mind a change of government.”
However, he still believes the ruling party is doing an “amazing job with leading our country.”
Another first time voter from Fasito’o-uta, Marine Su’a said that when he registered to vote for the election, he was not thinking of voting at all.
“At first, I only registered because I didn’t want to be fined for not registering,” he said.
However, the 21-year-old said as that he thought about it deeply and remembered that he is a proud citizen of Samoa and he decided to vote for a “better Samoa.”
Having said that, he said he was motivated by a quote by Barbara Boxer who is the junior United States Senator from California which goes like this, “Every citizen of this country should be guaranteed that their vote matters, that their vote is counted, and that in the voting booth, their vote has a much weight as that of any CEO, any member of Congress, or any President.”
“I realized that every vote counts and that I matter to the decision making of our country and that is why I am definitely voting.”
Marine said he hasn’t made up his mind yet, but there is a certain candidate that his interested in giving his vote for on the day of the election.
“Many people think that voting is easy, but it is actually not. I mean ticking a particular name is a piece of cake, but deciding which name to tick is not easy. That is why I am still not sure about whom I should vote for, but I can tell you that I am ready to vote for what I believe is best for Samoa.”
As for 62-year-old Lagaga Max Williams from To’omatagi, he was unhappy that he was not able to register to vote for election.
“I was born and raised here in Samoa, but I moved to Pago with my family,” he said.
Mr. Williams said it was too late for him to register for he just moved back to the country last month.
However, he said that he would love to join all the citizens of Samoa in deciding the next ruling party for our country.
“I think our country has improved a lot in terms of development and economic…all thanks to our leaders for a job well done.”
He believes the H.R.P.P should continue on leading our people and that Tuilaepa should be voted Prime Minister again.
Lagaga Max Williams is a Samoan citizen who now returns back to the country to start a business with his family at To’omatagi.