It looks like our country isn’t the only one which is experiencing election insanity. From Philip Ochieng:
An ideology is any systematic set of religious or political ideals. Ideally, then, every political party should be identifiable by distinct ideological thought. But, if so, what is the ideological difference between Kenya’s ruling and opposition parties? Every thinking voter ought to pose that question concerning Kenya’s massive switching of parties every time the General Election looms.
Because the next such polls are nigh, Kenya’s politicians now dash from party to party. The political migration will reach its apogee upon party nominations, when certain candidates have failed to be licensed to vie for civic and parliamentary seats.
But if a party is a bastion of discrete ideals, how can pre-election “party-hopping” be the chief characteristic of Kenya’s alleged “multi-party democracy”?
The answer is that none of Kenya’s plethora of parties is a truly ideological movement. All our political associations are practically identical by their emptiness of social thought.
Father attributes this dearth to the idea that his countrymen
have adopted that language but do not bother to master its nuances that our moral and intellectual vacuity looks so much more spectacular than the Anglo-Saxon world’s.
In all former European colonies, we do not even know how to pretend about it. We vote not for the social beauty of ideas – not for ideologies – but for something else. To call a spade by its name, Kenya’s big tribes vote only for the presidential candidate identifiable with their cluster of tribes. It is a deeply embarrassing manifestation of our backwardness in social ideals.
Father shouldn’t be embarrassed. It’s what we’ve become here in this bastion of the Anglo-Saxon idealism for the last few elections. I imagine that things get lost in translation in the other former British colonies where English is not the first language spoken at home, but Americans don’t have that excuse.
Both sets of people—Kenyans and Americans–do have something else in common, however: few members of either set of citizens have been formally educated into understanding the importance of ideals—of principles. And I don’t know about the Kenyans, but I’ve been greatly surprised to find out that many, even most self-identified political conservatives, don’t really know what ideals/principles are. That isn’t an accident.
And, without ideals, what’s left? Tribalism of many varieties, but these are almost always of the ethnic type.
Like my father says, the politicians and the constituents in his country don’t even try to fake it. I’d say that we’ve come to that point in the USA as well.
Hang on! It’s going to be a bumpy election.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.
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