Saturday, September 29, 2007

Kenya Elections "07

So elections are down to the 3 contenders as Kalonzo, Kibaki and Odinga, ordered alphabetically to avoid the ever increasing tribalistic debates. First and foremost, this is a huge move towards political growth in Kenya. 3 candidates only? yes, political parties keep being declared and defections are still common but there has been improvement in this field, no doubt.

Still, it's glaring to me how there is no obvious direction or principal governance creed given by any party. ODM keeps chanting about bringing about change. That's all cool. But what kind of change are they talking about? Because, frankly, given what Kibaki's government has achieved, I don't want change from that. I want continued momentum. I want forethought, planning and execution. I want to continue to see progress. Can ODM kindly explain change to me.

PNU is singing about the developments they have made. I agree with this. This campaign makes sense to me. they are listing the achievements of this government. This makes sense. I as a voter can decide if the achievements impress me or not. The pledge to continue with these kinds of developments can either be acceptable or not to me as a voter. hence, I can make a decision.

What is Kalonzo about? Does anyone know? Please enlighten me.

Having said that, let me declare my bias. I am all Kibaki camp. For reasons as mentioned above. Progress. In a much shorter time than I expected. And a hearty thank you to this government for enabling us and giving us the guts to speak our minds and not have to puppet to the "big" nations of the world. For that I ma eternally grateful. let me actually phrase how proud I am of Kibaki's (and team)achievements; if Kibaki were to lose this election, it would be no loss to him, period. There would be a loss but not to Kibaki; and to those whose loss it was, it would be obvious sooner rather than later. You think it takes a long time to regret stuff? Ask the Americans, from that strength in economy to a market that's shattering the world markets as we speak. And they had a long sliding grain, which Kenya doesn't have. Enough said.

I was intrigued as Kenyans, in their usual unison bleeting blah, complained about the cancelled ODM rally due to the fact that it coincided with a rival rally at the same park. Seriously, Kenyans are trying to convince me that they don't see potential for violence were this allowed to happen same day? This they say with a straight face as the same papers are carrying on about election skirmishes in much smaller rallies that weren't rival rallies side by side? Seriously, I keep begging for common sense. I applaud the council and the city police for denying this rally. It was the right move and anyone who isn't interested in attending rallies but has business in town can thank them for a peaceful day to go about their business as well.

What about the media bias? I have never been a fan of the Kenyan media but could we please feign indifference? How does the media day in day out carry such biased reports? There is an opportunity here for someone with capital to start a media station that carries a fair and balanced and I emphasize researched version of news in Kenya.

The end of the road is near. Steadman polls have Raila in the lead now, Kalonzo not so much a contender. I guess the proof will be in the polls. I caution as I have severally in the past several months. Vote with caution. Remember these cliche phrases as you vote and reflect on them pensively and may your conclusions guide you wisely.

1. What have you done for me lately ( you being person seeking your vote, me being your constituency, your country).

2. Be careful what you pray for.

3. Rome was not built in a day ( and neither will Kenya)

4. Empty debes make the most noise

5. Let me see your resume ( can your candidate prove his/her achievements)

6. Don't forget to wonder how often your candidate missed an important vote in parliament and what their overall attendance record looks like. It's 500K of your money a month. Is he/she earning it?