If you are a democrat you must have been mesmerized watching the UK election that produced the conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson. You must have also been green with envy thinking when will Nigeria reach this level of political sophistication in our election.
The other big thing that would be going through your mind is question why did we in the first place abandon the parliamentary to presidential system of government?
The likely reply from the political apologist would be UK have been practicing democracy for several hundred of years, ours is a burgeoning democracy. Be it what it may the UK’s election rekindle the love for democracy in me. It gave me hope that one day we shall get it right.
Another take from what played out was, while I waiting for the electoral commission to come out and declare the winner of the election. What I saw was the BBC Anchor Man speaking to the camera that he can now announce that Mr Boris Johnson of the conservative party has been returned and elected as the UK Prime Minister having crossed the magic 326 number of Members of Parliament required to form the next government, from there on the rest was history.
The House of Commons consist of 650 members each is elected by a geographical constituency of roughly equal population. In each constituency, the candidate with the highest number of votes wins. There is no need to win 50% of the vote, and votes for the other candidates are in effect lost. The idea is anchored on the basis “first-past-the-post voting”.
The commons also chooses the prime minister. By convention the Queen invites the leader of the largest party to form a government.
When Boris resigned as the Foreign Secretary no body gave him a chance to bounce back let alone win the UK election with a landslide.
The fascinating thing about the election is, it was so transparent, losers knew they lost fairly and they accepted the verdict of the people happily.
There were no armies or police presence anywhere. There were no issues of inconclusive elections. The electoral commission was totally in the background. The electoral law spelt out everything in the open. The electoral commission was not over bearing as in INEC. The executive members were virtually known even before the elections. They were referred to as shadow Ministers or Secretary. You must also be an elected member of parliament to become one.
The fight for who becomes what is decided from the on set. There were little left for lawyers to feast on. The mischief makers who overheat the polity for their personal gains were cut off. The system plays out free and fair.
The question to ask who the hell advised us to embrace the American Presidential system of government which is highly corrupting, over bloated too expensive not good for a small economy like ours.
Are we paying for the evil we did to our first republic leaders who ruled this country with decorum, high sense of nationalism and patriotism? History has shown that it was a mistake killing those leaders they lived above board and played by the rule of the game.
Are we also paying for abandoning one of the best legacies of colonial history that could made this country a better place? Is it too late to go back to our roots to make thing work for us?
In Nigeria we have changed our capital, we changed from driving from the right to the left. We have changed our currency from Pound to Naira. Others are still saying the name Nigeria is colonial, we must therefore change it.
No one can deny the fact that some of those changes worked for us. While some were disastrous, must we therefore continue with American presidential system that is highly corrupting, wasteful and unsustainable in the long run.
The Americans are clearly not happy with their system, where the electoral college takes precedence over the popular vote.
Hillary Clinton won the American election with a popular vote of over 3million, yet Trump became the President by winning the electoral college. The Americans knew the process is flawed, but because of its historical legacies and their pride, they still hold on to the system.
Can we as a people having experienced the presidential system for some time now beat a retreat to the Parliamentary system or develop a homegrown system that would take care of our internal dynamics?
The presidential system has failed us. There is no type of reform we can embark upon to refine it that would take us out of the woods.
Your comments, please.