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Re: Electoral College in Uganda

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  • Kristen Cheney
    Scott et al, Opinions such as this one are indeed fairly common here in Uganda. I have seen numerous editorials and letters in the papers here that suggest
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 6, 2000
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      Scott et al,

      Opinions such as this one are indeed fairly common here in Uganda. I have
      seen numerous editorials and letters in the papers here that suggest that
      the peasantry is a "problem." It reinforces my suspicions that class is
      really becoming a much more salient and contentious issue here than tribe,
      which was the case in the past. Of course, people define sectarianism as
      tribal, in line with your friend's 'son of the soil' claim of partisanship.
      In doing research on children and political consciousness, I've come across
      similar arguments that deny children political rights, including voting, on
      the basis that they aren't yet 'smart' enough to review the issues and make
      wise decisions. But the idea that only educated people should vote presumes
      that educated people somehow vote more wisely, based on some higher
      rationale. I see little evidence to support that claim, either. Yet the
      discriminatory implications of assumptions about educated and non-educated
      people are potentially really dangerous here.

      Kristen


      >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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    • Paul DEVER
      Irony has come full circle: Both the Moslems and the Jews wait until a male child reaches puberty, then he s a man, each capable of leading prayer, one measure
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 7, 2000
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        Irony has come full circle:
        Both the Moslems and the Jews wait until a male child reaches puberty, then
        he s a man, each capable of leading prayer, one measure of adulthood (I am
        certain of this with Moslems, not quite certain about the Jews and a minyan)

        Also in many African cultures, a boy is given his share of the flock and let
        loose on the soil.

        Responsibility is recognized in many different ways...

        What is amazing is the barometers of adulthood. Peachfuzz and a deepened
        voice do not an adult make. Look around you and you will see youngsters
        well beyond their chronological years, and people of age who can't tie their
        shoes...

        It seems easier for woemn in a sense...adulthood is recognized by one in the
        oven regardless of age...
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