Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sign of the Times: Close Elections

Sunday morning and the world woke up to find that the just-ended Australian election was inconclusive with no party likely to emerge with an outright majority. At the moment, the current Prime Minister Julia Gillard is attempting to form a coalition government.
Australian Prime Minister Ms. Julia Gillard (left) and her main contender Tony Abbott
Hmmm Tony Abbott looks mysteriously like Tony Blair in this picture
Source: BBC Online

Interestingly, this outcome was very similar to the British election of 2010 that resulted in one of the strangest marriages between liberals and conservatives that the world has ever seen. Closer to home, the 2008 Ghana election was the closest in Ghanaian history and probably one of the closest in world history.  
The BBC Focus on Africa magazine cover that aptly predicted the outcome of
the 2008 Ghana election

So are close elections the new sign of the time? What do they indicate? Are they a sign of a vibrant democracy or perhaps apathy and ambivalence of electorates across the globe? Food for thought.


YankeeNaija said...

i'm going for apathy. the only people really interested in government, in my humble maybe misguided opinion, is politicians. we, as a people i think, are just fed up. we want elected officials who appeal to us by telling us what we want to hear, we elect them, then they do what they want to do. so, i think people are just fed up and are either not voting or just voting for who closely resembles who they want in office and promises to do what they want done. sorry for the rambling, hope it all made sense.

Abena Serwaa said...

@YankeeNaija I think you may be right. There's a general feeling of being fed up with politicians and their promises. Well, I guess except for in Rwanda where Paul Kagame got 93%+ of the vote (hmmm...). I really do believe that apathy is a dangerous thing.

YankeeNaija said...

It is, I agree. Just look at what happened in the U.S. during our dark years (George W. Bush admin). After the election was stolen from Al Gore, the people gave up because right before our eyes, we were given a president we didn't elect. The the next election, we sought change, but Kerry just proved to not have the chops needed to beat Bush. So, the majority, albeit a very small one, voted for Bush, cause he was all we had. this discussion is a never ending one. lol. God help us all.