Thursday, July 16, 2009

Long way to go

The words "Democracy" and "Africa" are mutually exclusive. Corruption, self-interest, croneyism and everything UNdemocratic is the norm for every African state and country. It was not always so, but I fear it will remain so for a very long time.

In Africa, politicians rarely bother to campaign on policy or ideology. The president's performance in office, his ideas for running the country, his handling of the economy - all these are often irrelevant.

In a lot of African countries, tribal loyalties are by far the most important determinant of voting behaviour. Put bluntly, you vote according to who you are, not what you believe.
In other words, elections are nothing more than a disguised national census. All they do is disclose the latest balance between the tribes. Some people will dismiss this as patent nonsense but quite frankly only a small percentage of Africans will support the logically correct over the strong.

There is a still deeper problem. In the end, democracy's only purpose is to allow a president to be removed without bloodshed. Yet with blinkered and selfish obduracy, many African leaders will not relinquish power for any price.

If we, in Kenya for instance, voted in new MPs every five years, we would have 200 millionaires every five years....I say that is development. We wouldn't be hacking each other to death as much maybe.........just saying

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