The PDP Is Nothing But A False Majority By Lanre Olagunju

Follow me closely on this illustration; there are party A, B, C and D in a nation. Party A with pervasive, corrupt, racial and absurd ideologies won with a majority vote of 40% in a general election widely considered to be free and fair. The remaining 60% of the population dislike party X with extreme passion, and since they collectively do, in a sense, it implies that they actually represent the majority of the populace since they collectively detest the ideologies of the party. But unfortunately, since the remaining 60% weren’t speaking with one voice under just one party, their votes in the pools were shared abroad party B, C and D. While B had 25% vote, C had 20% and the remaining 15% vote went for D.

Since democracy is deeply rooted in the ideology of “majority rule”, democracy says that party A with 40% majority vote wins. But in this example, the shared 60% vote is the true majority. One of the down sides of democracy is that it has the tendency to present a false majority. This this is apparently the case in the politics of Nigeria today. What we presently refer to as democracy in Nigeria since 1999 is actually nothing but a false democracy by a false undemocratic majority. This error obviously doesn’t exist in democracies with only two political party systems like the United States.

One major thing President Goodluck Jonathan seems to be getting right is the fact that he is clamouring for a two party system in Nigeria. Candidly I think this is a good step in the right direction. He was quoted recently saying  “… immediately we disagree in PDP, somebody is picking form in one PPP, DDD party and contesting House of Assembly or House of Reps or Senate. When we have only two parties, before you get there, they have already occupied that place. So, even if we disagree, we will agree at the end of the day and it will even help to build a stronger party”

Beside that the 2011 general election was widely considered to be free and fair, it was more of a political jamboree. Jamboree in the sense that there were so many registered political parties that ideally had no business showing up for the political contest in the first place. As an election officer and observer in the north, in one of the remote villages in Jigawa State called Gwaraji, I could remember how hopelessly long the 2011 general election ballot papers were. And considering that over 90% of the voters in the said village are illiterate who couldn’t differentiate their surnames from their first names let alone their age, it was a difficult task locating the desired party they actually wanted to vote for. With two party systems, many of these uneducated ones can easily identify their desired party. That aside, the enlightened electorate can carefully choose and scrutinize the ideologies of the candidates.

The multi party system in Nigeria is the most tragic part of our fragile democracy, practically because the system has a way of ensuring that the true majority is lost among unorganized contending rivals who should be speaking in one voice. Hence, the congruent and agreeable minority becomes the majority.

At a point like this when the nation is gradually preparing for general elections, if the country’s polity must be strengthened, we must embrace a two party system, which would help a lot in strengthening and stabilizing the democracy. Some people have asked me in time past if APC will serve as a better alternative, and I consider that thought as counting one’s chicken before they hatch. We forget that if we get fooled again we empower the PDP with the grace of another 4 years. One of the most important parts of the next general elections is to at least get the PDP out of office; any party that wins will at least know that Nigerians have the ability to get a party out of office and that would really help our democracy.

When we get accustomed to the two party system, the electorate would learn to devote more time to the ideologies and personalities of electoral candidates rather than waste time on useless issues like zoning and religion. Oppositions will learn that any time wasted in paying attention to frivolities will result into strengthening the other party. After all, in the era of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Convention (NRC), we had two muslims –the late Chief Moshood Abiola and Alhaji Bashir Tofa, and the electorate were more concerned about the individuals rather than their religion or tribe.

I am @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter

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In the beginning...Let there be Light http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japheth_J._Omojuwa

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