With an anemic voter turnout, generously estimated at 40%, it’s hard to claim a democratic victory and even harder when voter lists were machinated, deliberately stacked, calculatedly erroneous, to steer voters to a specific party.
The only winner here is the former administration’s miscalculation in calling for prorogation instead of Local Government Elections in 2014. That is not just serendipitous but a unmixed blessing that will be factored in to this election – historic only because it was the third in more than four decades and still managed to be the embodiment of politics past – a counterproductive reshuffling of politicians whose only claim to fame is that they’ve been around long before the younger generation…invalidating local government at Mayoral and Council levels with monumental incapacity and ineptitude.
And if those who are planning on pursuing future political endeavors are paying any attention, they’ll realize that the old format of building political approach by comparison and contrast to founding parties is now as old as it is defunct.
It didn’t matter that the field of candidates was wide this time around, not when there was not enough sharing of information about the history of local government and how it empowers the voter at community level. And if there was, then, it must not have been effective because the younger segment of voters, the larger portion of the electorate, were not motivated enough to go to the polls.
The political coroners will try to hack at this one, examining all its major organs, post mortem.
What they’ll find is the conclusive evidence that is found in all deaths of this nature. A one-dimensional political approach is outdated and does not excite a younger electorate that wants more specifics on what politicians will do for them.
As clichéd as it may sound, the usual losing axiom is painfully applicable here.
This election was lost not won. The excruciating fallout is that younger and potentially better candidates missed the opportunity to step in to the political arena in critical leadership roles, at a time when their emergence is vital to moving the country forward and away from the politics that has now become stocks around our collective necks.
Like its two immediate predecessors, this Local Government election, too, will be one we will be forced to recall with embarrassment, with heads hung more in shame than in bewilderment.
And if there’s one lesson, one moral that is in this for those who are still filled with political ambition, it is that campaigning is a process, a protracted process, not an event.