Cook Islanders need to know that their choice of candidate is extremely important because the majority of votes that a candidate or political party receives will determine who will form the government and run the Cook Islands for the next four years.
In deciding to choose which candidate or party to support, voters should be looking at who would be the best person to look after our country.
The types of questions voters should be asking before they vote are:
1. Does this person have the passion, experience and qualifications to manage our country
2. Has the candidate got a good track record to prove that he or she is a reliable and trustworthy person to run our country?
3. Was the candidate successful in his or her private life before deciding to stand in the general elections?
4. Can the candidate represent the Cook Islands in domestic as well as international affairs?
5. Is the candidate a decent and honourable person?
6. What contribution has a particular candidate made to his or her community?
7. Does the candidate have the energy and the mental capacity to take on the job?
8. Is the candidate a leader who has vision?
9. Can the candidate actually perform and meet the requirements of the job?
There are other qualities such as character, being a good communicator, common sense, depth, substance, and whether or not a candidate is able to deliver and perform however it is also important that people vote for the person or party that they believe has the ability to improve the way Cook Islanders live and to protect and ensure that the Cook Islands is able to sustain its environment and resources for a long time.
There will be people that will vote based on traditional loyalties and many families will vote for a particular party because their parents voted for that party but times are changing and it is becoming common for voters to support a candidate based on what they can do to improve their livelihood and help their families survive in the Cook Islands.
All votes count towards choosing a government and sometimes the vote allows people to remove governments for not performing to the expectations of the voters or to endorse an existing government by keeping them in power.
The people will have their say on election day and this is the only time when the people of the Cook Islands will have a direct influence on who will govern the Cook Islands. So don't forget to exercise your right to vote tomorrow.
Good luck to all candidates and their respective parties.
(Name and address supplied)