Mmegi Blogs :: Trumpís first 100 days!
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Friday 17 August 2018, 13:30 pm.
Trumpís first 100 days!

When many people the world over thought Donald Trump could not win the race to the White House, I disagreed. When he eliminated his opponents in the Republican primaries, I could see Donald Trumpís victory was looming.
By Michael Dingake Tue 14 Mar 2017, 16:39 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Trumpís first 100 days!

Knowing the American public to be attracted to showmanship and having noticed Trump the showman, I believed he was a winning outsider type of candidate. In spite of falling out of favour with previous Republican candidates, and the have-runs in the United States (US) presidential elections, I thought the man had a chance. Presidential elections in the US are reputed to have a low turn-out. When that happens, anything can happen.  Elections of a democratic Government defined as ‘Government of the people by the Government for the  people’ is very often unpredictable for a number of reasons. One ground is voter apathy.

Voters are generally apathetic, reluctant to go to the polls for a variety of reasons. Voter apathy may arise where the electorate is of the opinion that the contestants, whether parties or individuals, have platforms with very little to choose from; voters may also feel what the contesting parties as individuals or political parties often promise, quickly evaporates when candidates win positions they had fervently put forward when they were soliciting votes. So, the masses stay away from the polls.

In Botswana you meet a good few who tell you to your face when you go on door-to-door that, le tshwana hela (you are all the same)!

Another ground that induces voter apathy is to be found in the underhand means parties and individuals employ in wooing voters. Those with resources bribe voters to cast the vote for them. Bribery is always a factor in the elections. Poverty-stricken potential voters will accept bribes from candidates to have a meal for the day. Very few people in the poor category ever think of next week, next month or next year. They will think of the now and the here!

Generally, elections are conducted on an unfair territory, under an unfair electoral system. Take for instance a system in which a loser becomes a winner! The First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) electoral system often produces a winner who in fact polls fewer votes than the loser. It happened in Botswana in the 2014 general elections.

The ruling BDP polled 46-plus percent of the total votes and the opposition 53-plus percent of the votes , yet BDP with lesser votes, won the elections and the opposition with more votes, lost. The system is unfair because it doesn’t reflect facts.  This kind of electoral system can give power to an undeserving candidate. That’s how South Africa landed with the apartheid policy in 1948. Under the FPTP, also called the Winner-Takes-All  electoral system, winner/winners may become losers.

All the ‘democratic parties’ under the system know the system is flawed, but  once in power, winners, by fluke they will not swop the system for a


more democratic one, because they are happy, and  might continue to win when they lose! Trump, the new American president lost the Presidential elections by more than three million (3 000 000) votes, but under the electoral college method, he won! A good many continue to protest against his policies expressed in the prolific Executive Orders he appears signing on television.

The electoral college method is loaded against the absolute majority, who are the poor, and in favour of the rich, who are the minority of the American population. The shock experience of the system producing Trump, the maverick, as a President has ignited a movement to change the system to a fairer one that reflects fair results in terms of the majority principle. Whether the agitators for a new system will succeed remains to be seen. With both Houses (the House of Representatives and the Senate) under the belt of the Republicans, it is doubtful whether they will succeed. A party in power doesn’t easily succumb to the importunities of the party out of office.

Trump is looking forward to serving the full two-four-year terms and his party,  the Republican Party, will be reluctant to make it easy for the Democratic Party to smuggle back a Hillary Clinton character into the White House, in a hurry.  Those who hanker after a fairer electoral system will have to sing for it much louder! Now, how is Trump, the political clown doing in his journey to his ‘first 100 days?’ Rather comically, one must say. Where is the Mexican border wall he promised to build? Two thousand wall stretch to be paid by the Mexicans? The Mexican president has dismissed the notion of paying for a wall meant to deny Mexicans the opportunity to seek pastures green across the border.

He is not a maniac to accede to loony experiments. Thus ,Trump’s wall paid by Mexico has been trumped.  Perhaps his three-percent filthy rich friends will indulge him by a sponsorship. For now ,Trump’s wall has crumbled before it could rise. The world is waiting, watching to see  Trump tear to pieces  trade agreements with Canada, Mexico and some pacific countries.

Trump has been extra busy signing Executive Orders. The one banning immigrants from six Muslim countries, originally seven, is struggling to be effective. 

The thrilling part of his first 100 days may be still ahead. More than a million signatures have been collected to unwelcome him to Britain. His détente with Russia is on the rocks; and he is hastily retreating from his NATO imbroglio; his war with the media looks unwinnable. I await a comprehensive expert analysis of Trump’s first 100 days in office.

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