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Saturday, January 17, 2009

How Long Will The Coalition Government Last?

I have this famous friend whom I have been very lucky with when it comes to predictions on Kenya.

He usually calls me and asks me a specific question, seeking my views and gut feeling. And oh boy have I been lucky with him or what? Everything I have ever told him has worked out exactly as I have said it would. He must think I have some magical powers or something.

Despite his amazing track record, Kumekucha has denied that he is a soothsayer

A few examples.

About two days before the general elections in Dec 27th 2007, he called to tell me he was a little confused. Some quarters were telling him it was going to be a close race for the presidency whilst others were telling him it would be landslide for the ODM presidential candidate.

I told him; It is definitely not a close race. ODM have it by what looks like a landslide. My only worry is that I doubt if President Kibaki and PNU are going to concede defeat and hand over power peacefully. You can read my post on the eve of the election expressing my worries HERE. I still get goose pimples reading it today when I realize how accurate it was. l

You know what happened.

Then another day he called me and asked me about Safaricom IPO. I told him that I was sure that the shares would dramatically drop in price the minute they started trading on the Nairobi stock exchange. I pointed out what had happened to the Kenya Airways shares over 10 years earlier. This time he doubted. After all Safaricom was an excellent company and he had insider information about what those buying most of the shares were planning to do which would no doubt push prices up.

You know what ended up happening.

So now recently he asked me how long I think the grand coalition government is going to last for. He did mention that most people have predicted that it will NOT last through March this year.

So far I have not replied to that query. But today I felt I have enough information and insight to do so.

I will be surprised if the grand coalition government survives past May this year. They will hang in there beyond March because increasingly Kenyans will realize that both PNU and ODM are both the enemy and the two will increasingly have to stick together to survive. And also because politicians on both sides of the political divide need to build their war chests for the next elections. So they need to continue robbing the country blind for as long as they possibly can. The exposed scandals Kenyans are hearing about are only a tip of the iceberg.

But we shall about May, shall we not?


P.S. Salim Lone told the Daily Nation early last year while still in New York that the exclusive story on kumekucha saying that he had fled Kenya was false. Earlier this month Mr Lone appeared on the popular K24 chat show and talked about the 3 times he had been forced to flee the country. One of those times was the time he denied to Nation that he had fled.

Read the accurate story Lone denied here.

Time and again Kumekucha has been proved extremely accurate in its' stories despite tons of jeering comments that follow some of our big exclusives. Of course all credit goes to our informants who risk everything for love of country, even their lives sometimes. They are the real heroes. I am just but a messenger to be used for a better Kenya.


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40 comments:

Mwarang'ethe said...

Every shadow points to the sun

Mai ma Nguku said...

"How long will the coalition govertment last?"

As long as it takes.
We need Raila in the goverment because if he is in opposition he will be accusing gava for failure to deliver a new constitution and accusing goverment for corruption and scandals. telling the dimwits like Phil to take into the street to protest.

Vikii said...

I am not in the business of predicting and I don't really care who is in there. What I find really sickening, Chris, is this persistent trumpeting of the accuracy of your own predictions. I say so what? Nobody has really contested your predictions and I do not see why you have to keep rubbing it on us. Maybe we give our seal of our approval by showing up here in droves and so you need not tell us all the time how magical you are when it comes to political reading and insight. Give us an effin beak, dude.

About the closeness of the 2007 election, what the hell are you talking about? The electoral commission of Kenya announced a diference of 200k votes between the top two candidates out of the ten million votes cast. The ODM, the party you and your students here believe won the election claims to have won with a similar margin. So regardless of which prism you want to see this through, we are talking about a 2% margin here. Is that what any sane person would call a landslide? 2007 was a very close election and it is time we rcognised that it was almost a split decision.

The life expectancy of the coalition, sorry, of this government of bogus unity? I do not think this is imporant. This coalition thing was a fraud from the very first day. In democracies, the person who wins the election should have complete discretion when forming government. The earlier this thing is done away with the better. We need to have a government that derives its authority to govern from the people, not from deals made at hotels and disco joints.

With an institutional framework as weak as ours, a close election will always trigger the kind of barbarism we witnessed, especially with this kind of political players. So the important thing is not when this gang disintegrates. Our focus over the past year should have been a serious and deliberate push for constitutional reforms. Instead of us going over the top to form maize cartels with such striking zeal only to cry foul four years down the line when we lose elections, we should be pushing for a constitution that accords the winning candidate a real and clear mandate to govern.

In the review of the constitution, perhaps more important than anything else, is a requirement that you do not become President without winning a majority of the votes cast---more than 50% of the vote. That way now, those who claim to represent "the majority of Kenyans" would be making sense. In last year's poll, nobody really got this kind of mandate and that is why every Tom, Dick and Harry claims to have won.

Therefore, a constitutional reform that does not cater for this is not worth undertaking. I am told Uhuru Kenyatta will be putting this demand on the table as early as next week. That would give real meaning to democracy. It would also eliminate the "need" for the position of Prime Minister. As we all know, acountry governed least is a country governed best.

M-Pesa said...

"....Head of public service Francis Muthaura is the one who actually exercises supervision and coordination, making the post of Prime Minister superfluous.

So apart from enjoying the trappings of power, why would Mr Odinga, want to remain in government?........"

Sounds like a double-dare to me!

Mwarang'ethe said...

Vikii said:

With an institutional framework as weak as ours, a close election will always trigger the kind of ...

Our Comment:

An institution is nothing but a lengthened shadow of one man/woman.

Vikii said:

It would also eliminate the "need" for the position of Prime Minister. As we all know, acountry governed least is a country governed best.

Our Comment:

It is our understanding of the above that, Kenyatta et al, would prefer a presidential system.

If we are right, we would like to ask, apart from the USA and France (a bit diluted) due to historical reasons, how many other nations do you know that have presidential system have become real democracies?

Anonymous said...

Mwarang'the, stop this nonesense of refering yourself as "we" and "our"! Do you know many people here don't agree with you? or you want to sound cool?

Mwarang'ethe said...

Anonymous said...
Mwarang'the, stop this nonesense of refering yourself as "we" and "our"! Do you know many people here don't agree with you? or you want to sound cool?

Our Comment:

Why not see the log in thy eye before you see the speck in your brother's eye?

When you post your messages without thy name, what does that say about thee? Answer that first.

Anonymous said...

This government, which came about as are result of the THEFT of the elections of December 2007 by Kibaki, will not last. It is illegitimate. It is FRAUDULENT. It is not supposed to be there. IT WILL NOT LAST!!

Sayra said...

A house build on sand MUST shake when a slight wind blows and when it drizzles it must sink, no matter how good the intentions of building the house were/are. You might do all to protect what you have and there will always be those who will cheer you on but at one time the house will fall ... and you have to go back to step zero.

Basics of life ... always build a house on a firm foundation ... a fact of life. Anything else ni kuji-enyoy tu.

Msemanji said...

50%+1 vote is not necessarily the magic wad to prevent PEV. Bro Bob in Zimbabwe has shown us. The truth is we are not ready for democracy, all we need for the next 30 years is an iron fisted leader who can get things done not our current 'Wacha wale wanataka kupigana wapigane' May God help deliver us.

Vikii said...

Mwarang'ethe, interesting point you raised there.

When I talk about weak institutions, I am having in mind an ECK that does not have a dispute resolution department, a petition handling court if you like. One whose verdict can be disregarded by the losing candidates. I am sure you are aware of election forms having miraculously disappeard. Is now not the time we computerised the system and does that not go a long way in strengthening the institution in charge of elections?

About the system of government, yes you are right. I prefer a presidential system of government. It makes much more democratic sense to me. If we are talking about a government of the people, then it is only fair that those people have a DIRECT role in choosing the leader of that government. While you consider the US and France as the only real democracies practising a presidential system, which country do you consider a REAL democracy that has a Parliamentary system? Please don't tell me the UK. What they have there is a notion of real democracy. The Italian experience has been a comedy show and you know that. But that aspect of the debate is not even important. Since you believe we should do what everybody else does, which country (headed by a Prime Minister) do you think has a more democratic and inclusive political system than the US?

A Presidential system will always be the way to go, Mwarang'ethe. ONE MAN ONE VOTE, my friend. Look at the deception that Moi employed in drawing the boundaries of electoral districts. Do you think it is fair, proportional or even sensible? With the kind of animosity, myopia, tribalism and corruption, do you think we can come up with better boundaries? Headship of government is the ultimate thing Mwarang'ethe and we cannot afford to subject it to a flawed election system.

Now, I dont support just a Presidential system, I support a STRONG and POWERFUL President. If we can come up with a constitution that spells out explicitly what the President can do and what he cannot do, it will occur to you that a strong Presidency is not necessarily a bad thing. What we have been doing in Kenya is giving the President a blank check to lord it over us. If we can keep the powers of the President but with correspondingly strong Parliament as well, then the executive and the legislature can always check each other. For instance, attempting to deny the President the power to assent to or veto bills is the height of archaism. What we should root for is the power of Parliament (by some established majority, say two thirds, three quarters or whatever) to overwrite a Presidential veto or even an assent. We should strenghen Parliament to such level that the expenditure of government ministries is not left to ministers but instead require Parliament to vote for every single budget item the ministries come up with.

Lastly Mwarang'ethe, better examples are those from Africa. I believe that Tanzania and Botswana are democracies in every little sense of the word. We can come up with an even better system if we take the time to think through some of the things that keep pulling us back

Philip said...

Ok so you are all predicting an end to this stupid arrangement. But how exactly will it end, through protest, mutual agreement or one side pulling out. How is it going to happen?

Taabu said...

Vikii,
From SB: CHE 0 -1 Stoke pole I know you are avoiding reality. And FYI Roman Abramovich's seat is empty as his club battle for a point against Stoke. What a dark days at Stamford Bridge?

Taabu said...

Vikii,
You are finally LUCKY it is 1-1. And BTW Stoke is at the bottom headed back to the championship. And as for CHAMPIONS (10 times) look at who is tops of the league. Others must follows, sorry pretenders.

joe the choma man said...

"Chriso"
you know you could make alot of money if you marketed yourself as a soothsayer with proven track record?

People will pay big money for political exclusive insider information, especially if its 90% accurate

the more predictions you make ahead of time, and the more they come true in the near future the more your credibility would rise...think about it, and don't forget about us when you become rich,

PS take off the mask stupid its scary please and bad for PR (public relations) and marketing

I predict this coalition will last until one partner pulls out

Vikii said...

Frank Lampard rules the world of football Taabu. 2--1

Taabu said...

@Joe CM,
You are WALKING ALONE and the preasure is on the contractless Rafa. Kutangulia sio kufika.

@Vikii,
Tell that Roman. Soma lebo. There are clubs and only one INSTITUTION. You don't rule Engand/Europe and World by fluke. Just ask Jose the size of buterflies in his tummy.

Vikii said...

Fluke????
It seems to me you didn't watch the game. Here are the stats;
Chelsea Stoke
42(12) Shots (on Goal) 4(1)
8 Fouls 15
11 Corner Kicks 4
1 Offsides 1
71% Time of Possession 29%
0 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0
0 Saves 10

Anonymous said...

Vikii,
it is unbelieveable how much nonsense you spew. A strong president is what you want? What exactly is Emilio? Isnt Kenya in such a despicable position because of unchecked powers in the form of a godlike presidency? It is embarrassing to read your posts and it just shows how deep the Kenyan problem really is. With cheerleaders like you, the ordinary Kenyan is in big trouble!

Taabu said...

Vikii,
I know you too well and only you believe that STATS score goals. Wake up lil bro and relive 3-0. The last time lady CHE was thumbed lie so was 16 years ago. Ever heard of OUTCLASSED and OUTSMARTED, well you cna visit wikipidia. You guys are JUST TOO AGED-average over 30+, POLE BRO.

Vikii said...

9.26 you are stupid because in your small head you imagine I am "cheerleading" for Kibaki. I am cheerleading for Kenya a hundred years from now, you moron. Long after Kibaki is dead, burried, rotten and forgotten.

You talk about checks and then conveniently ignore my take on what Parliament can be as a checkmate for the executive. The American President, for example is a very powerful man, but his is the kind of power that is not only constitutionalised in very explicit terms, but also checked by a senate and a congress whose vibrance is enabled by both the constitution and a desire for maturity by the general society. We can adopt that in Kenya.

I am yet to understand why Kenyans in this 21st century still believe that the best way to trim the excesses of the President is by creating another office around just another individual. How does that help? Can someone please tell me? Unless and until we acknowledge that the offfice of the President can only be checked by a vibrant Parliament (and this has to be in accordance with the constitution) and an independent judicial department, we will keep whinning about a 'too powerful Presidency'. Quite frankly I think it is very dumb for people to imagine that merely changing the name of the head of government amounts to whittling down one-man-showness. I am yet to hear anything dumber.

Taabu, you are another one. If you watched the game, then you must have seen those first half Frank Lampard screamers that Sorensen parried away. Anelka's miscued kick with only the GK to beat and Michael Lampard'd header. So what is your point? Chelsea didn't win with stats, they won with GOALS, beautiful goals. The only shot that I remember seeing Stoke make was the one that produced their goal. And I would blame both Alex and Big Petr for that. This was a complete domination and all I am doing is discrediting your use of the word 'fluke'.
The season is still young, my brother.

Vikii said...

And Taabu, how can the average age be "30+' when no SINGLE player is older than 30? Chelsea's average age is 26 and united's is 24.5. Where do you get some of this information?

Anonymous said...

Vikii,
why are you so quick to call others dumb? Everything about what you write here scream cheerleading. I don't know for whom but it is certainly not guided by principle. It is interesting that you'd like Kenyans to adopt the American model. Does this mean that you also support the devolution of powers to regions just like the USA has self governing states or what exactly are talking about.....fill me in!

joe the choma man said...

Mwalimu Taabu,
Michael Shields was seen wearing a t-shirt "free Stevie G"
as for Benitez-its money or the box?choose stupid...

Mwarang'ethe said...

Vikii said...
Mwarang'ethe, interesting point you raised there.

When I talk about weak institutions, I am having in mind an ECK that does not have a dispute resolution department, a petition handling court if you like.

Our comment:

We have observed that, institutions are nothing but a lengthened shadow of one or few great men or women.

If one looks at the American Constitution/democracy (as imperfect as they are) as institutions that have stood the test of time, one cannot fail to see the shadow of one great man, i.e. Thomas Jefferson.

If one were to look at the South African Constitution of 1996 (imperfect as it may be, although it is one of the greatest constitution ever produced), one cannot fail to see the shadow of great men like Mandela and a few other brilliant legal minds like Judge Sachs.

If one were to look at the Indian Constitution/democracy (imperfect as they are), one cannot fail to see the shadow of one great man Dr B.R. Ambedkar.

Lets now look at Kenya. Very embarassingly, we find these words like these: "Kenya is a sovereign Republic," as the opening words of our Constitution.

Such an opening of a Constitution betrays small minds who cannot produce any institution. That explains the dearth of institutions in Kenya.

If we are to produce great institutions, we need great minds. Can you show me any such great minds now, and in the last 45 years please?

Vikii said:

About the system of government, yes you are right. I prefer a presidential system of government. It makes much more democratic sense to me. If we are talking about a government of the people, then it is only fair that those people have a DIRECT role in choosing the leader of that government.

Our comment:

This statement is not true. If it were, explain to us why Al Gore lost despite the fact that he had the MAJORITY vote.

You fail to see that Americans elect "electors." In that case, it does not follow that under any presidential system, there is DIRECT vote.

You can also look at South African presidential system for another example.

Vikii said:

Please don't tell me the UK. What they have there is a notion of real democracy. The Italian experience has been a comedy show and you know that. But that aspect of the debate is not even important. Since you believe we should do what everybody else does, which country (headed by a Prime Minister) do you think has a more democratic and inclusive political system than the US?

Our Comment:

In the USA, Americans elect electors who elect the president.

Under the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, Malaysia the PM's are the leaders of the largest party in the Parliament.

In Ireland the PM is appointed after nomination by the parliament.

In Spain, the King nominates a PM who is approved by Parliament. Same applies in Germany. But, the Parliament may also choose a PM who is the appointed by the head of state.

In Italy, the PM must gain vote of confidence by a set time.

In Sweden, the Speaker of the nominates a person, who is then elected by the Parliament if the absolute majority do not vote no.

These examples are sufficient for our purposes. So, what do you mean by saying that American system is more INCLUSIVE? In fact, we hold the opinion that the idea of faceless electors is worse that what we have under the Parliamentary systems.

Also, we concur that the UK system is not perfect. However, we will be educated if you showed us a perfect democracy.

Vikii said:

A Presidential system will always be the way to go, Mwarang'ethe. ONE MAN ONE VOTE, my friend. Look at the deception that Moi employed in

Our comment:

As we said above, even American, South Africans do not have that system of one man one vote as such.

In any case, we fail to see the beauty of one man, one vote. To the extent that we delegate law making aspects to a few men, we are yet to be educated why the elections of a president/PM is such a big deal.

Vikii said:

Now, I dont support just a Presidential system, I support a STRONG and POWERFUL President. If we can come up with a constitution that spells out explicitly what the President can do and what he cannot do, it will occur to you that a strong Presidency is not necessarily a bad thing. What we have been doing in Kenya is giving the President a blank check to lord it over us. If we can keep the powers of the President but with correspondingly strong Parliament as well,

Our comment:

We only see confusion in this argument. If we have a whole orange, and then u take a piece out of it, it cannot remain whole.

Thus, to the extent that you say we should have a strong Parliament that can effectively check the President, we fail to see how and even the necessity of a strong presidency. It is either we have a strong presidency as we have now, or we have a stronger Parliament, which we support.

Mai ma Nguku said...

Mwarang'the, you are making sick with your constant self-reference as "our". You sound like an 90 years old man learning some few cool words.
I urge to stop reffering yourself as OUR/WE now!!

Anonymous said...

Mavi ya kuku,

Why not focus on the substance of mwareng'ethe's contributions rather than on the style he chooses to put his points across. mwareng'ethe and vikii uwanja ni wenu.

Anonymous said...

why are these people targeting foreginers who help kenyans


http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/8752/news/features/mcguffin-kenya090116.wmv

Vikii said...

Mwarang'ethe, I will not engage you on whether we have legal minds suffieciently endowed with resources necessary for the crafting of a new constitution. It would be a rather petty debate if we continue perpetuating the notion that Thomas Jefferson, a politician deserves the credit for the beauty of the American constitution. Nelson Mandela may be a great lawyer, but when we start imagining that the decisions he made were not based on advice from SMARTER people (who may even be unknown to us), then we are losing sight of what really leadership is. What you have listed above, Mwarang'ethe are not the smartest lawyers those countrys have produced, NO, they are just great statesmen who understood that the greatest pillar of their greatness was their readiness to listen. We have hundreds of the best constitutional law scholars you can expect to find on any part of the world BUT constitution making is much more than that. It is about political resolve and more importantly a complete divorce of MORTAL politicians (some looking for jobs) from the matrix. Our undoing has been the pretense that we are making a constitution for posterity yet it is clear in black and white that we have been seeking to create jobs for people we know.

Now as per Presidential vs Parliamentary systems, I have not said anywhere that we should adopt the American system. Of course that would be dumb. I have argued for a President elected by the people because my fixation is about a President who derives the authority to take the tough decisions ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE directly from those people. All you have done is to list countries governed by premiers without telling me how EXACTLY that should be better than a Presidential system (Remember what prompted this debate?). What exactly would be wrong with a Presidential system of government and how would that be solved by a Parliamentary system?

While still on this, I am hearing for the first time that Americans electe their President through "electors" That's wild. What I know is that the principle of 'one man one vote' is not upheld a hundred percent because the appropriation of the electoral college votes is not perfectly in tune with the respective state populations. That is why Al Gore lost the election. The only imperfectness with the American electoral process is this. In close elections (Al Gore won the popular vote with a tiny tiny majority and lost the electoral college vote with a tiny tiny number of votes). The hundreds of millions of Americans who vote in the Presidential election should be a comment on the inclusivity(more than any of those countries you have listed) of the process. It is not perfect bt it is MORE inclusive. Now,I don't even see how this is a factor in a Kenya where those pushing for a Presidential system are calling on the election of the President directly by the people. We are not copy-pasting the American practice, no, We are seeking to improve on it. And that's the gist of my argument.

Now about the power of the Presidency, I have not talked of MORE powers. I have talked of KEEPING the powers of the President while also strengthening those institutions that are supposed to check them. For example, the President should continue making the appointments he makes but now we should have them certified/confirmed by Parliament. Like it happens everywhere, he should be free to assent to bills or veto them without being slammed with armtwisting demands by people who feel they should have been consulted.

And finally if you honestly think we do not have little Jeffersons or little Mandelas in our midst, should we not just forget about the quest for a new constitutional order? Which would render the Presidential vs Parliamentary back-and-forth completely irrelevant? In other words if we feel Prof. Ghai and the other constitutional experts are not upto the task, should we not throw in the towel? Or place a call to Nelson Mandela before he dies?

"Kenya is a sovereign state". Must this statement that irks you so much be in the new constitution? Has anybody defended the current constitution? What is the relevance of this part of your contribution, sir?

Mwarang'ethe said...

Mai ma Nguku said...
Mwarang'the, you are making sick with your constant self-reference as "our". You sound like an 90 years old man learning some few cool words.
I urge to stop reffering yourself as OUR/WE now!!


Our comment;

The words I and mine constitute ignorance.

These words are not ours. They were uttered by the supreme Krishna to a sage.

Mwarang'ethe said...

Vikii said:

It would be a rather petty debate if we continue perpetuating the notion that Thomas Jefferson, a politician deserves the credit for the beauty of the American constitution. Nelson Mandela may be a great lawyer, but when we start imagining that the decisions he made were not based on advice from SMARTER people (who may even be unknown to us),

Our comment:

We never asserted that Jefferson wrote the constitution without assistance of some other people. The same applies to SA. So, you response is out of place.

In any case, we are surprised that you cannot see the absurdity of thy argument. It amounts to saying this:

"Napoleon and Alexander the Great were not great military leaders because we know there were soldiers who served under them, and we do not know them."

Neverless, the assertion remains, any institution is nothing but a lengthened shadow of great man or a few great men.

Vikii said:

It is about political resolve and more importantly a complete divorce of MORTAL politicians (some looking for jobs) from the matrix.

Our comment:

We agree. And, it is such statesmen, we lack. This makes you first statement unnecessary as said above.


Vikii said:

While still on this, I am hearing for the first time that Americans electe their President through "electors"

Our comment:

Life is about learning every day. Isn't it? Then, read on:

It is important to remember that the President is not chosen by a nation-wide popular vote. The electoral vote totals determine the winner, not the statistical plurality or majority a candidate may have in the nation-wide vote totals.

Source: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/faq.html#popularelectoral.

Vikii said:

And finally if you honestly think we do not have little Jeffersons or little Mandelas in our midst, should we not just forget about the quest for a new constitutional order?

Our comment:

Let us concede that you are right.

Then, educate us why we have spent 2 decades, while wasting billions of shillings in trying to get a new constitution.

Vikii said:

The hundreds of millions of Americans who vote in the Presidential election should be a comment on the inclusivity(more than any of those countries you have listed) of the process. It is not perfect bt it is MORE inclusive. Now,I don't even see how this is a factor in a Kenya where those pushing for a Presidential system are calling on the election of the President directly by the people.

Our comment:

Firstly, you claim that hundreds of millions of Americans vote. In your mind, that is a prove that USA system is better. What an absurd argument to make.

What would make sense, is for you to tell us the % of Americans who vote as compared to other systems we have mentioned.

If you would do that, you would be justified, perhaps tell us that as a matter of fact, in %, more Americans vote as compared to UK as an example. But, you have not done that. Thus, this argument must be rejected as useless.

Secondly, you say that it is more inclusive. How is that so Sir?

Now, it seems your whole argument falls on the notion that we must have DIRECT election of the president. We hear thee very well.

However, based on experience, we think that system does not work. We have seen these so called presidential systems all over the world, and if you were to be honest, they have all failed. You have not educated us why we will succeed where all others have failed.

As we said, USA (which also uses electors), and SA (diluted as well)do not have DIRECT election.

However, even if we concede for the sake of argument that DIRECT election is not negotiable, you are still to educate us why it is acceptable to delegate making of laws that govern or misgovern us, but, it is unacceptable to delegate the same when it comes to the President or the PM.

Vikii said...

I don't know what you are talking about here, Mwarang'ethe. What exactly is your argument?

I said some political leaders will be introducing a debate on the need for our President to be elected by the majority of those kenyans who vote (again, this is not a requirement or even a practice in the US which we are fast getting obsessed with) and YOU countered that a presidential system was improper because we do not have a shining example of the same anywhere. What you failed to do, Mr. Mwarang'ethe, is to point out EXACTLY how inappropriate that system is. At least in my defense of a Presidential system is a deep loyalty to the voice of every citizen through their vote. I am yet to read anything in support of the Parliamentary system apart from pointing at other nations that may be successful and attributing their success to a parliamentary system of government.

You know Mwarang'ethe, I have been following the politics of Raila odinga(the best known champion of this syetm in our shores) for quite some time. Ever since he became a key player in national politics in the late '90s, Mr. Raila has made this his pet subject. And admittedly, it is an idea which has gained incredible support among Kenyans. But what I really don't get and what has been conspicuously missing is a clear and precise explanation how this system is the panacea to our political and governance problems. Merely standing up and claiming we are in political limbo because of the Presidential system without telling us how exactly a parliamentary system would get us out is baffling. What is the motivation behind such a blanket proclamation?

My understanding is that it is much easier to corrupt the system than it is where direct vote is involved. Look here, there are about two or three paths to parliamentary governance; We can take William Ruto's crazy idea and have members of parliament elect the head of government. If we adopt this, you can be sure that Mwai Kibaki, Raila odinga, UK, John Haroun Mwau, Githunguri, Thuo, Muthama or Saitoti will be your next President/PM. Their clowns will take over from them. Now, these may not necessarily be the best leaders like everybody knows. The common denominator here is amazingly deep pockets that they can use to buy their colleagues (about 300 pple). In a corruption culture like ours, you don't want to go there. We knock that off the table, dont we?

Two,and which probably makes a little more sense is what appears to be the universal practice; The people elect Parliamentary representatives and the party that gets the most seats forms government and their leader becomes Prime Minister. This is what is unacceptable especially in a country like kenya. There are two reasons for that; First, we can never get ourselves to draw electoral boundaries as they should be and second, the processes of our party nomination are always a sham. There is so much corruption that the party with the best policies or even the most popular leader may end up losing MPs to other smaller parties due to uncontrollable corruption at the nomination stage. In very simple English I am saying that we have a long way before we have real developed political parties that we can put our faith in. What we have now are tribal cartels bringing together the gods of corruption. Any head of government elected (indirectly) through such cartels can only be a leader acquired through fraudulent means. I am more comfortable placing my trust on an individual than on a party most of whose top leadership is made up of conmen. Please give me a list of names on a ballot paper and let me choose who should lead me.

This is a discussioon that I am having fun following and chipping into. Let me hear exactly why we should go parliamentary. And once again don't tell me "so we can be like everyone else". Let me hear the merits, please.

Mwarang'ethe said...

Vikii said:

This is a discussioon that I am having fun following and chipping into. Let me hear exactly why we should go parliamentary. And once again don't tell me "so we can be like everyone else". Let me hear the merits, please.

Our comment:

We assumed that the basic fundamental principles of the two systems are well known.

If that is not the case, we are more than happy to descend to back to the philosophical foundations of the two systems.

Firstly, have you wondered why in every campaign speech Obama denounced the power of lobbyists in Washington? It is now accepted that lobbyists have become a threat to American democracy.

The fact that these lobby groups have become a threat to the American democracy lies in the philosophical foundations of the American presidential system.

That being the case, if we agree with the principle of unity, then, we can conclude that Kenya will not be different. In any case, we have already seen that.

Lets now explore the philosophical foundations of the two systems. We will take USA and German system as examples.

The German system, i.e. parliamentary system is founded on the ideas of J. J. Rousseau. He argued that democracy shoould be hinged on the homogeneity of the people.

To him, the common will is absolute. In that case, he was of the view that the governing class must be identical with the governed in what he called uniform and indivisible sovereignty.

To him, such an arrangement helps to exclude the paramouncy of particular interests.

In USA, they considered the happiness and pursuit of the same by individuals as the key objective and the basis of their democratic structure. In other words, they instituted a democratic culture whose key tenets is the bargaining between pluralistic interests.

As a result, the American leaders do take special interests, i.e. lobbyists in their procedures. In German, you do not find that since they are tied to their parties. This does require loyalty for parliamentary system to run smoothly.

It is doubtful whether you can get such in the American system. And, as we have seen with the car industry in the USA, as many special interests find their way to Congress, it becomes very difficult, even impossible to make proper laws for the benefit of the whole nation.

But, the major question is this. Do these special interests represent the interests of the larger society? It is often the case that these special interest's goals undermine the interest of the whole nation.

Is the idea above far fetched? If you think so, ask yourself why the American car industry has been unable to evolve. This is very simple.

When Reagan (check who gave him more money) became the President, in 1986, he stopped the law that had led to about 27% increase in car engine efficieny in the USA in about 10 years.

It is well accepted by the experts that if Reagan did not stop that law, today American car industry would be very competitive. Instead, we see the industry begging for the tax payers money to survive.

It is ironical that this industry, due to lobbying culture of the USA system was able to burden the American society with waste of energy running into trillions, and, yet, when, it is unable to compete because it dug its own grave, it asks for the tax payers money.

Lets also look at the energy sector ( u need to bear in mind that this energy has bought a lot of shares in the car industry). We all know that this sector is a major special player in the Congress. As a result, we have a subsidy of about $ 300 billion every year to an industry that is messing the environment.

And, since this interest is powerful than the renewable enery sector, it gets the ears of the American Congress. The question is, are the ineterests of the common person being taken care of in the American system? Clearly no. You can see that in the way Americans gave Obama money cos they are tied of the current system.

If you take the car industry and energy industry in German, the exact is the opposite. Why is that so?

We argue that these differences in the evolution of these two societies is s reflection of the two systems whereby:

(a)One system due to the idea of pursuit of individual's happiness, it has led to the emergence of special interests, whose agenda undermines the interest of the whole nation.

(b) The other system encourages not considerations of the narrow special interests, but, the interests of the whole society.

It is in understanding of these systems in this way, we think Kenya should have a system that wil evolve to consider the interests of the whole society, and not the interests of a few, whose agenda is silly.

Mwarang'ethe said...

To Vikii:

Although the article ignores the role of lobbyists in defeating major reforms such as health care, it is a nice article on the USA system.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/16/secrets/index.html

Vikii said...

Hhmm, that's a rather tortured rationalization.

Special interests groups lobby memmbers of congress/senate. Let's call these latter ones lawmakers becase that would be a little more universal. Now, lawmakers in any part of the world are not puppets of political parties. They should not be in a free political community. How does a parliamentary system stem lobbyists. I mean, I just can't understand anything you said.

If Americans voted for President Obama "because they are tired of the Presidential system", did he promise to replace it with a parliamentary system? Come on, Mwarang'ethe, the existsence of special interests in Washington has absolutely nothing to do with the system of government but everything to do with the competitiveness(sometimes uncouth) of the country's economic culture. I just can't square your circle, buddy.

To me, it is clearer nw than ever before that you and most of those who have signed up to the narrow belief that a parliamentary system is what the doctor ordered, have absolutely NO sound explanation as to why we should adopt it. It would make sense if we found real faults with the presidential system(and that will be really hard because our problems lie elsewhere) instead of just singing along to politicians' songs that are purely and solely composed for the purposes of ascesion to power.

Let's just put it to rest until such time when we educate ourselves a little more.

Anonymous said...

Mwarang'ethe,
You are simply brilliant! I especially love your patience and eloquence. Isnt it nice to see someone show Vikii what intelligence really is? Keep up the good work! By the way, that 'our comment' line is simply hilarious!

Vikii,
I hope you realize that most of us who read this blog see you for what you really are.....a hateful bigot whose obsession with Raila and Luos is unparalelled. And to think that the Americans elected one....damn!

John Maina said...

vikii the benefactor of corruption has been sorted by Mwarang'ethe clearly and logically.
Vikiis hatred and shalllowness make him fail to see otherwise or even consider the merits or demerits of a parlimentary system instead he links it up with Raila whom he hates to the core of his being.
How absurd that well educated pple like vikii and his likes fail to use their knowledge to develop the country.

Vikii said...

John Maina, am I a benefactor of your mother's corruption? You thick moron?

"well educated people like Vikii.."
Who told you I am well educated? Well, I will admit it, I am flattered and thrilled that you think I am educated. I will also be honest with you; I think you are not just uneducated but also plainly thick. They have some good schools on that part of the world. Why don't you enrol buddy? I mean, don't you sometimes feel embarassed by your moronity?

Anonymous said...

John Maina, am I a benefactor of your mother's corruption? You thick moron?

Vikii said.."well educated people like Vikii.."
Who told you I am well educated? Well, I will admit it, I am flattered and thrilled that you think I am educated. I will also be honest with you; I think you are not just uneducated but also plainly thick. They have some good schools on that part of the world. Why don't you enrol buddy? I mean, don't you sometimes feel embarassed by your moronity?

Vikii,
this is the proof that the word intelligence and you should not be used in the same sentence. Being able to express yourself and thinking through whatever you say or do goes a long way in earning you respect. Is it a wonder that you always come across as a hateful person whose obsession with Luos and Raila isnt in question?
What John Maina pointed out is what anyone would conclude after reading your contributions.Is expecting a decent response from you too much to ask for? Or is it just beyond your intelligence?
Venus

Anonymous said...

Are Mwarangethe and rao one and the same person. mwarangethe has achieved zero. Persuit of individual achievements (happiness) is what gave us inventers and discoverers. So it is good and may be that is why most of the nobel prize winners in the sciences are americans every year.

I agree with vikii you cannot have a parliamentary system in kenya. How do you even agree on the number of constituencies.

Have been following mwarangethe's comments and to me he sounds like a first year law student excited about Elizabethan English. Am surprised he is yet to throw in a few latinisms.

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