Have elections proven to be a panacea for all the ills the people have suffered through for almost 7 decades now? The answer remains disputed.We may have voted 11 times, but not much has changed in the country. It would seem that elections alone do not ensure democratic values in a society, and that more needs to be done to bring about real change in the country.Human beings were initially hunters-gatherers, with an embedded sense of collectiveness among different communities. However, the advent of farming forced them to create personal boundaries and the concept of land ownership was born, which according to the famous philosopher Rousseau, pushed humans into a society based on cast and creed, eventually leading to feudalism. But in the years since, due to momentous instances like the creation of the Magna Carta (1214) or the American and French revolutions, certain people paved the way for, and embraced, democracy as a new system of governance that gave power to the common man, regardless of their standing in society. After independence, people in Pakistan embraced the concept of democracy, believing that elections were the foremost factor in creating a durable democratic system. However, their attempts were in vain, as they soon realised that most of the citizens of the new nation were almost devoid of any democratic values, except for the rudimentary version they experienced under the British. A comparison between the most sophisticated Democracy at the time, the US and, a newly created nation like Pakistan presented quite a stark picture. After independence, the people in Pakistan were bestowed with some core values of democracy that were accepted without much struggle. On the other hand, it took America a century to abolish slavery; one and half century to curb racial differences, and almost two centuries for giving voting rights to women.Interestingly, despite having been introduced to some core democratic values at its very inception, the progress of democracy in Pakistan faltered with every change in government, and due to a rising polarity between different religious and ethnic communities. Furthermore, the vacuum created by the absence of a constitution in its early years, escalated the country’s need to for a more inclusive system of governance, eventually leading to the 1970 elections. However, the result of these maiden “fair” elections turned to be disastrous as well, as the country was torn apart in its aftermath, leading to accusations that the elections had been directly responsible for the resulting debacle.Unfortunately, the frequent cop d’états that affected Pakistan over the years also played a decisive role in impeding democracy from taking root in society. It wasn’t till the removal of the country’s last dictator, and the subsequent lawyer’s movement that gave birth to a new generation of people that were fully committed to make their voices heard, and had the power of technology and social media at their disposal to bring about a real change within our society. The frequent coup d’états that affected Pakistan over the years also played a decisive role in preventing democracy from taking root. It wasn’t till the removal of the country’s last dictator, and the subsequent lawyer’s movement that a new generation of people came forward who were fully committed to making their voices heard, and had the power of technology and social media at their disposal to bring about a real change within our societyDespite this positive change, our society still remains devoid of core democratic values, and do not completely realise the significance of utilising their votes properly. While many experienced democratic cognisance, cases of religious bigotry, intolerance and extremism also grew at an exponential rate, forcing concepts like equality and fairness to the background.The inclusion of religious parties, with ideologies soaked in religious bigotry, in the electoral process was emblematic of a weak democratic system.To have a better understanding of why democracy fails to take root in our society, even after ten elections, we need to look towards Paula Tiihonen, Doctor of Administrative Sciences, Committee Counsel to the Committee for the Future Parliament of Finland.In one of her essays she outlines her belief that, along with illiteracy, lack of sense of ownership among masses (exploitation of census), lack of citizens’ rights, and income differences, it is “the hegemony of money that devours the chances of democracy”.The writer is a journalist and Editorial Assistant, Balochistan Voices. He tweets @ayazkhanzada18Published in Daily Times, July 26th 2018.