What you need to know:
- Serious political leadership has to be about the good of the many people who elect those they believe to be “leaders” and not about those “leaders”.
- At the bottom of all our political problems is also the lack of really well-founded political parties.
A few times several weeks ago, I kept addressing the matter of how much we borrowed from the American model of governance as we were making our 2010 Constitution.
However, there are several things which we did not make our own. I will mention two. The first is that our elections have always been held every five years.
The American electoral system goes every four years. Then there is the matter of midterm elections which we did not copy paste. As such after our “leaders” are elected they remain there for the full five years.
In the name of democracy that came with devolution, there has been a lot of talk and activity about impeaching governors, speakers of county assemblies. What drives that?
During the last week the Americans have been going through their traditional midterm elections.
The Democrats have won a reasonable majority in the House of Representatives — as the Republicans keep holding on to a majority in the Senate.
Even as that President held his press conference after the elections, he had already thrown out his Attorney-General who had refused to be part of the ongoing investigation into the suspected Russian interference in the American elections of 2016.
One would assume he now feels safer in the remaining two years of his Presidency and may very well stop that investigation.
My thought today goes to our Kenyan tradition of going into a campaign mood every time we are over with elections.
Look at how much talk there is about the 2022 elections. Is it not only a year since our elections of last year came to a rather interesting conclusion?
We should be ashamed of ourselves. Quite obviously, those who were elected have hardly done much that has benefited our people, yet they — and their “party” leaders — are only focused on how they themselves can hold on to those positions.
Apparently in our Kenyan style it is never about those who elect but about those who are elected. How very sad.
As I have been following the American midterm elections in the last week, this is a thought that has been crossing my mind.
Given our infatuation with the American governance system — among other things — what would have happened had we adopted this midterm electoral idea?
Knowing our political culture, it is my guess that this would have been recipe for unending political campaigns that would help no one.
Serious political leadership has to be about the good of the many people who elect those they believe to be “leaders” and not about those “leaders”.
At the bottom of all our political problems is also the lack of really well-founded political parties.
Fr Wamugunda is the dean of students and a lecturer of sociology at the University of Nairobi. [email protected]