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Thoughts on Electoral College in Uganda

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  • Scott Geibel
    I ve been getting a lot of notes from colleagues in Uganda recently, as they have an upcoming election soon and are highly captivated by our own. I sent a
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2000
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      I've been getting a lot of notes from colleagues in Uganda recently, as they have an upcoming election soon and are highly captivated by our own.  I sent a document on the Electoral College's history at someone's request and this was his response.  Interesting how he embraced the thoughts of the founding fathers as innovative and sensible (i.e. electoral college, must be educated to vote), thoughts which we find outrageous and outdated today. 

       

      Hi Mr. Scot?

      How is Washington, once again? Thanks for the document you sent me. I

      managed to spare some time and peruse through it. As I had mentioned

      earlier, it was indeed very interesting. I got a few things in my mind I

      would like to talk of and probably get an opinion about.

      You probably may not be interested in politics and certainly African

      politics. But here, politics governs almost everything. Right from one's

      welbeing to social friends and anything more you can think of. You have

      also spent some time in Africa and certainly have an idea of its politics,

      besides its social political set up. Most of African countries have

      peasants as the majority. In my country where I reside, over 85% of the

      population is peasantry, with a small elite/educated population.

      Now, these people are a very big problem when it comes to electing a

      National President. First of all, their grasp of national issues is very

      limited, if not absent. Therefore, like the proponents of the electoral

      college pointed out, Regionalism and favouratism of "son of the soil"

      takes precedence over merit and capability.

      Hence, my argument that African countries, especially mine, with such

      social structural population distribution probably need an electoral

      college of well educated people. In fact to drive the point home, peasants

      and illitrates should not be the sole basis for electing a National

      President, if not, not to vote at all! There should be a minimum level of

      education for a person to qualify to vote! Because, however much you

      explain to these fellows the "a,b,c,d,…" of issues, such as corruption,

      dynamism of society, a change in leadership, etcetera. If the alternative

      is not "a son of the soil", to hell. They will not understand. You will

      be talking to deaf ears. In fact, they even do not know what their basic

      needs are! And by the way, at the end of the day, the very peasants who

      are lured to elect Presidents, walk away with nothing! And they will

      still vote for that very fellow again and again, who keeps promising them air!

      Indeed, the Founding Fathers of America had that great idea of an

      "electoral college".

      Mr. Scot, do you have any idea?

      Bye for now.

      Paul.

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