Monday, November 27, 2017

Democracy for teenagers

I watched an ODM speaker of a county assembly and a Jubilee member for a Rift Valley constituency appear on a TV current affairs show in which they were giving their honest views about the National Resistance Movement's "people's assemblies". It was clear that they had entrenched positions: the ODM guy, a lawyer, could cite, chapter and verse, the provisions of law that gave legitimacy to the NRM scheme while the Jubilee hardliner, a former parastatal CEO, couldn't understand what miraculous constitutional interpretation that permitted such an abomination to be contemplated by otherwise intelligent people. What was painfully clear to viewers was that both held each other in utter contempt. The ODM guy couldn't believe he had to discuss serious matters of law and constitutional interpretation with a man he was sure had the intellectual heft of a loaf of bread. The Jubilee hothead couldn't understand how a county speaker in a backwater county who looked as if he was starving thought he was his peer, a member of the National Assembly and a leading light of the ruling alliance. They spoke past each other and at each other that it is almost certain that this is how the next year will be. Clearly, this is democracy for teenagers.

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