Elections are important but they should be seen in the context of a much larger struggle for reforms and change played out over decades.
This is something I wrote before the Sibu by-election, but it still holds true any time.
Looking back at the last century, some of the biggest movements for change came about largely outside or were larger than the electoral process. These movements spanned many years, even decades rather than short five-year terms.
Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Mandela were some of the biggest names and towering figures of the 20th century. What they all had in common was that they were rallying points for countless numbers of people who aspired for real and meaningful change. Gandhi was the symbol of the anti-colonial movement not just in India but across Asia and Africa, Martin Luther King was the rallying point for the US civil rights movement and Mandela was the icon of the anti-apartheid movement.
What did these movements have in common? They were bigger than the political process. They were not just the work of single individuals or leaders, but they represented movements of ordinary people moving towards an idea whose time had come, gradually building up momentum towards a critical mass.
Full article here.