Tue, Aug 2, 2016
A handbook and template on how to successfully rig elections in broad daylight would not only be highly expected from an African president but would also be written comprehensively by one.
If you have never been in, or heard of a catch-22, take a look at the prevailing idiosyncrasies in the USA pre-election rhetoric. USA is currently a country where one presidential aspirant wants to make the United States great again by greatly making disunited states.
The other aspirant thinks the country is already great yet she has arguably broken the law by running in the race as an FBI suspect. Is this the greatness she subscribes to, or has greatness been transformed to a new hilarious, Hillary phenomenon?
Whether these grave irregularities are supposed to confirm that USA is indeed the land of limitless possibilities or that the United States of America is indeed the land of the free and brave or that we just didn’t know what true American politics entails, is left to the reader of this article to decide. My major concern is on the graveness of this catch-22 that in turn breeds unprecedented fragility in the choice, the voter has to make.
When making a choice, what you ultimately choose not only depends on how the alternatives are framed and presented to you but also on how intense your anticipatory instincts for regret are ingrained in you. So, the American voter is in an unprecedented Manichean struggle where they have to make a choice of a president, with the two factors, that govern decision making, at their extreme peak. This is a quintessential fabric of a catch-22!
As many are exhilarated and uplifted by Donald Trump’s gadfly rhetorical stunts (as would be expected of a typical American), many are also inspired by the Hillary Clinton’s ambitious femininity. As we talk, the results from the polls oscillate evenly about the 50 percent mark, for either of the two candidates.
Despite this evenness, Trump can’t hesitate to often point out how the elections have already been rigged in favor of his rival. Is this the fearful side of Trump at play or is it his naivety or even both? Or, is it based on the exonerating judgement that was given to Hillary Clinton? Whatever it is, we should not miss the flickering hint from behind the scenes (which is the essence of reading this blog) of this drama, that sometimes it is the Presidents who choose their voters.
Much as it is largely speculative and ineffectual to say that presidents in America choose their voters, it is a current broad daylight, African identity, that presidents here choose their voters. This brings me to the next part of this deliberation.
A handbook on how to successfully rig elections in broad daylight would not only be highly expected from an African president but would also be comprehensively written by an African president, given their sui generis and intrinsic expertise in propelling this misfortune. A cross-section of the prospective tenets and rules in it, would read like the ones below:
Don’t let the voters choose you. Choose your voters.
Subdue the opposition using the army and police.
Intentionally deliver voting materials late, to the polling stations.
Maintain loyal Personnel in the electoral commission.
These are quintessential representations of an African election atmosphere in that I don’t have to give examples of the perpetrators of this misfortune. A glance at that list immediately retrieves, from the brain, somber memories of broad daylight election thuggery and the identities of the perpetrators of the rage-inspiring elections.
In a typical African election, the incumbent, who often doubles as an aspirant for another term, mainly uses the tool of choosing the voters that will vote for them. This is effected in ways ranging from ballot stuffing to connivance with the tally centers that in turn disorient the results with a victory-laden skew towards the incumbent.
This is the template of heroic rigging that African dictators have always been adjusting to suit the collective beliefs and expectations of the people they purport to lead. It is appalling to see that such tendencies have been adopted in the lower levels of political aspiration. Whether it is the lower levels that started this trademark of rig-laden politics or it is the higher levels, is a discussion for another time.
Otherwise for now, we should start devising means of how to groom a new generation that is devoid of rigging predilections. These means begin in you the individual, in your home!
Edrine Habasa is an autodidact bridge engineer, dialectician and knowledge enthusiast. He's also a debunker of falsehoods as he champions the truth.