STRONG INSTITUTIONS, ENGENDER STRONG DEMOCRACIES; Lessons From The US ELECTIONS.
There are no perfect governmental systems in the world, vis-a-vis perfect democracies. Such utopia does not exist, under this part of heaven.
What we do have, certainly circumspectly, are STRONG DEMOCRACIES; emphasis on the word “Strong “. And on this basis, shall i build the import-quotient of this article.
Regardless of the opposition’s tantrums, the US ELECTIONS has been officially called. And the new U.S president-elect has emerged. Major countries, and persons of influence across the world, have continued to pour encomiums on the credibility of this incoming presidency.
And although, Trump is yet to concede defeat,- it has nothing to do with the incoming presidency, except the court rules otherwise, (that is if he wins at the courts).
But, even at that, come January 20, 2021, on the day of swearing-in, whether Trump concedes or not, on or before that day, he automatically ceases from being referred to as the united states president. That is the status quo.
In fact, he loses that privileges accrued to the office, and by default, no one would report to him again, because apparently, a new sheriff is now in town!
This, – is the power of a STRONG system, however, one, freckled with undemocratic spots, a little here and a little there.
Like I earlier alluded, there are no PERFECT systems anywhere, especially when it comes to running democracy as a system of government, regardless of the number of years, they might have been at it.
Why? Because we are talking about a process run by humans. And humans being human, tend to tilt toward fallibility. Essentially, a system is as good as its administrators, or basically, the people that run it.
And by all standard, The US have of come of age with their democracy, and is deserved of this honour. Because apparently, they have a whole lot at stake, in WORLD politics, being a world-power itself.
In giving honour to whom it is due, we must acknowledge that the UNITED STATES, although not a perfect conglomerate of States, actually have been able to build, over the years, a STRONG SYSTEM that is bigger than any single individual.
In the US, a citizen has the same civic rights as the president. Essentially, the president is not more American than the average American on the street.
Respect, is thus accorded to the collective American-consciousness, and not a single-man monopoly.
The foregoing, was what played out in the just concluded US elections.
Now, let me run us through a brief, but detailed overview of how the US elections, is conducted.
First and foremost, the US elections does not run a CENTRALIZED ELECTORAL SYSTEM, where one governing body oversees the conducting and collation of results, like INEC, as we have it here in Nigeria. Rather, there is DEVOLUTION OF POWER, across the fifty states.
How do I mean? By devolution or devolvement, i mean that there is the delegation of authority (especially from a central to a regional government), which allows for EACH state to run the electoral processes, according to its own electoral laws, as approved by the supreme judicial system.
Essentially, there is now transfer of some powers, and delegation of some functions, from the central sovereign government to the local governments, in the entire country. Which allows for autonomy. And implicitly, gives NO ROOM for what we call in Nigeria, as NATIONAL RIGGING.
In the US, there is no AUTOCRATIC OR OLIGARCHIC rigging, to becoming elected. Why? Because there are strong institutions that checkmates that.
Even to the point, where if the courts finds evidence(s) of anomaly, or hanky-panky, then, they do not stall at reviewing the election, or even RE-conducting it. That’s how strong and efficient this system is. And with this kind of a system, democracy is not at threat.
In Nigeria, we have been clamouring for RESTRUCTURING, and devolution of centralised power, because it would seem the government in the centre, coordinates the economy with preference to a certain ethnic group, most significantly, its own ethnic bias.
And this allows for nepotism and tribalism.
In the end, democracy is threatened when elections are run, because certain elements might want to use their positions of authority, to influence the outcome of results.
For example, in the recently concluded EDO elections. Quite a number of PRO-Apc supporters and adherents, and even party loyalists, actually blamed the president for being too docile, as touching his involvement in the electioneering process, hence their loss at the polls.
It would seem, they needed a President that could control the electoral body, by using the powers of his executive office, in order to manipulate the election process. And so , a number of them were displeased with the president, for not taking such positions.
Why? Because, we run a system, where such level of open dishonesty holds sway.
Therefore, we must learn from the US elections, by primarily strengthening our electoral acts, devolving INEC so to say, thereby allowing for transparency and credibility.
This is how to engender Democracy, when the vote of an ordinary Nigerian counts.