November elections and majority rule
IF one wants to know if there will be change in the political landscape of Namibia after the forth-coming elections, the answer is simple: Under the current ruptures and fragmentations of opposition parties, the ruling party will remain the ruling party.
The ruling party has always thrived from the naiveté of the opposition that does not present voters with an alternative. The claim that they want to deprive the ruling party of its 2/3 majority to prevent Constitutional Amendments is a manifest- acceptance of defeat before the first vote is counted.
More so, the ruling party does not need a 2/3 majority to rule, because it is enjoying the comfort of a liberal Namibia Constitution that does not requires drastic amendments. Additionally, the voters are not presented with party manifestos that are fundamentally different, because of the amount of plagiarism and copy-pasting. Therefore, it is naïve for politicians to think that Namibian voters are choosing on the basis of political content or consciousness. They vote on the basis of party affiliations.
Majoritarian politics (the winner takes all) in Namibia is a miscarriage of the call for “One Man One Vote that we so much advocated during the struggle to ensure “Majority Rule.” Today, majority rule has turned against the concept of power-sharing in accordance with the Four Branches of the State: The Legislature, Executive, Judiciary and the Citizenry.
Majority rule has in fact precluded proportional representation especially in electing Members of the National Assembly because they can only ride on the fortunes of their party political lists, thus making them only accountable to their parties and not the Citizenry. While proportional representation is working well for electing Constituency Councilors to the Second Chamber of Parliament, National Assembly leaders are not directly elected and as such do not have political constituencies. Furthermore, the National Council is only serving the function of a rubber-stamp of decisions taken by the seniors boys and girls in the Big-Brother upper-house.
I want to argue here that Majoritarian politics can also be progressive because a party does not need a 2/3 majority to rule a country, it requires only 51% of the vote to form government. Knowing that the weak opposition parties of Namibia will never under these condition attain a 2/3 majority, they should be the one to graciously accept and promote the idea of simple majoritarian rule. There are two scenarios for advocating majoritarian rule under the peculiar conditions that haunt the opposition:.
Majoritarian politics can thrive under a One-Party rule system where voters do not have to worry about their choices. This will herald the withering of political splinter groups that do not present voters with alternative. This sounds Machiavellian for many readers. But China and Tanzania have for many years thrived under this political system, that unfortunately goes with the repression of alternative views
Majoritarian politics is also effective under a two-party political system that work so well for the most politically advanced Western democracies. This is possible in Namibia if the leaders of the opposition parties desist from running their own small parties like their own fiefdoms and to form a coalition that could compete with the ruling party for attaining a simple majority vote to take over the administration. The positive outcome of such formation is the following:
Voter apathy will be replaced with voting enthusiasm as many of the swing voters or people who do not normally vote will jump on the band-wagon
The politics of the belly and convenience for many opposition leaders will end because they will no longer control their small political parties which they administer like their own homes.
Fielding multiple Presidential Candidates who they know stand no chance of unseating the current Head of State will be a thing of the past. It is a fact that if all the opposition parties choose one single candidate under this majoritarian concept to challenge for the Presidency, His Excellency will be forced to seriously run for his money.
Who are the game changers in 2019?
Unless a system of mathematical which-craft is invented, there will be no significant change in the distribution of votes. The opposition splinter groups under the current state will account for not more than 18 parliamentarian seats. Of course there will be new faces in parliament who soon after the election will succumb to the tenor of the current majority party in Parliament.
They will be out-voted on any issue by the ruling party
They will be out-shouted by the majority
They will be out-maneuvered by the Speaker of Parliament as has been the case
However, they will find comfort in the fat salary and perks that comes with our Members of Parliament in a starving nation. They will join the gravy train that is also enjoyed by their fellow ruling party members they harshly criticize while outside.
The voters will remain in their shacks for another five years..
OH LORD, CRY MY BELOVETH COUNTRY.