Mmegi Blogs :: There is nothing democratic about governments that win by vote buying
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Last Updated
Friday 17 November 2017, 19:00 pm.
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There is nothing democratic about governments that win by vote buying

“Vote buying and vote selling can be understood no longer as an economic transaction between those who sell their freedom and those who buy them in the hope of regaining their investment when they get to power; from the standpoint of ordinary people elections are times when equality and justice are temporarily achieved as their patrons fulfill their financial obligations to support them in times of need”
By Owen Nsala Wed 12 Jul 2017, 16:50 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: There is nothing democratic about governments that win by vote buying








Has it ever occurred to one that our democracies in Africa are more influenced by food hampers, give outs and parcels than principle and a clear knowledge of the political environment that surrounds us? Are African democracies creations of highest bids and fat pockets or they are based on principled politicians whose desire is to serve the people that que at the polling stations?

Politics has become a money game and the tact in Africa is to do anything possible to hang onto power even where it is clear to those that are given mandate that the ship cannot sail anymore. That then begs the question as to why Africans want to hold onto power when they lack an idea of taking Africa and their separate and sovereign countries forward. One can only assume that the desire to cling to power is a self-preservation tactic rather than a desire to see prosperity for the citizenry.

Politicians tend to take advantage of the fact that most voters, and this directly talks to Africa, lack a proper understanding of the fundamentals of governance and the obligations that political leaders have to their constituents. Africans are generally not so educated political wise and rather follow political parties as if they follow football teams were blind allegiance is not a sin. Because of that, politicians have turned political parties into cults were association with a certain political party by its own gives one a sense of euphoria and excitement merely by association and absent of deliverables by that political party. Politicians, in realisation that their followers lack proper political education have continued to till the soil of indoctrination and propaganda to their advantage whilst the uneducated followers happily celebrate the germinating seeds and the incidental weeds without difference, complaint or care.

Our democracies are therefore products of hungry and vulnerable souls being used to channel the benefit of few self-servers who do as they please on the disguise of being a democratically elected unit. I pause to state that vote buying in a democracy is an ill that must be nipped in the bud and as a progressive democracy that we so want the world to believe, we must pass laws that are not supportive of vote buying. Vote buying is in most cases very prevalent amongst the poor who receive food hampers in

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return of votes without realising that a meal or a party branded tee shirt will not recycle itself every day for the next five years whilst our politicians are in the cities and waiting for a fresh mandate.

It is therefore paramount that in an attempt to balance the scales for our democracy, government must pass laws in support of political party funding. Such laws would go a great length in strengthening our democracy to the extent that there would be at least, unachievable as it is, a more or less fair playing ground. It would give the nation an opportunity to soberly reflect on the achievements of a sitting government and listen to those that are on the opposite side of the aisle. Political parties would then not be voted on account of their temporary financial muscle but rather on principle and notable ability. There is no doubt that resources play a role in an election and by extension in determining a well channeled, polished and thought democracy.

Vote buying is an evil. It is a wrong. What makes it very uncomfortable to swallow is the way it is done. It is a cynical act, downright opportunistic and very dirty. Reducing voting to the provisions of material gains denudes democracy of moral values. It is devoid of any emotive connection to the democratic system which is what nourishes popular conviction. Vote buying is dangerous in any democracy for it means people accede to democracy so long as it meets their material need. If democracy fails on the material front, they can easily switch consent to an authoritarian order so long as it provides materially.

It is therefore imperative that as a nation we must guard against vote buying for there is another evil that is associated with that. That inherent evil lies in the expectations of those that finance the vote buying exercise in the disguise of a democracy. The fear here lies in that the financiers expect reciprocation in the future and once in government, the only known reciprocation is corruption and greasing of hands.

To this end, and whilst we still can, it is important that we pass laws that will enhance our democracy and kick away friend with benefits in the form of financiers who may loot our country to the benefit of very few.

 

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