By Ben Francis.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the elections are here!!
Politics has been recently referred to as the tyranny of numbers. To get the numbers, you need to have a considerable amount of votes from the students whom for the purposes of this article shall be called “prospective voters”. I am going to tackle the various types of prospective voters you can bump into in your typical campus.
1. THE TRIBALIST
Without prejudice, this type of voter has probably studied in upcountry schools his entire life where visits to urban areas was a story for everyone. WITHOUT PREJUDICE!! He probably prefers to be called by his surname and takes great pride in his African nature. He may also turn out to be a chauvinist,I said MAY. He has attended all tribal associations meetings and his moments of the day are when he gets to meet his tribal mates and engage in their dialect.
This type of voter carries forward this mentality to the ballot. On receiving the ballot paper, he immediately scans it looking at the surnames and ticking against his tribesman. No thought about anything else. Probably its because of such voters that violent scenes were witnessed at a certain institution of higher learning a couple of weeks back.
2. THE UNDECIDED
This type of voter usually is unsure of who to vote for in all or a certain post. He is the “we unaonaje”(what’s your take?) type. This type of voter is very ignorant as he opts for majority instead of policies. He is likely to flow with the wave of a certain person regardless of what the candidate has to offer. These are type of people targeted by the first Kamukunji of the campaigning period. This is because 70% of them will probably make their decision judging by the reaction that a certain aspirant draws from the crowd.
3. THE GOLD DIGGERS.
This accounts for a large number of the voters in any campus. They believe in the ‘scratch my back I scratch your back’ policy. They believe that as you are looking for their vote, you should produce “sufficient consideration” for it. Failure to do this and you will be labeled as mean or poor and that you are seeking the seat so as to enrich yourself. A quick propaganda will be created and your supporters will vanish faster than the second generation alcohol. It’s always a tough rope to walk on for the financially challenged contestants.
This is where most of the aspirants’ money ends up. The consideration need not be necessarily in monetary value. For the boys, a couple of 800ml Legend “whisky”, Napoleon brandy or a Jug of Keg will be enough for them to sing your name to the heavens and back. For the ladies who don’t want to seem cheap but are loyal to the bottle, I heard viceroy will do. For the female teetotalers, bucketfuls of ice cream and bags of confectioneries will certainly go a long way in them ‘being convinced’ that you are their preferred candidate.
A considerable number of this group don’t vote. On the voting day thuogh, they are usually in their houses having passed out, nursing the mother of all hangovers or camping in the washroom due to constipation and/or food poisoning.
Aah this, this is the face of the campaigns or rather, the voice. They have a variety of names but they are commonly referred to as “hooligans” across campuses. This is where you go to if you want deafening shouts upon the mention of your name at the Kamukunji. This is the group that will carry your banner all day long, singing and dancing(under the influence of course), they will put up your posters at strategic points and they will also be the reason why you will be summoned every other day by the Students’ Electoral Commission to cough up a fine for them being too rowdy or tearing down your opponent’s posters.
The influence of the hooligans should not be underestimated at all. It is their screaming and shouting that will influence Voter Type two mentioned above. It is their screaming and yelling that will determine whether the undecided are for you or against you. A well organized kikao will benefit financially from aspirants vying for the Same post then remain with their “right” candidate all the way to the ballot. It is a very unstable group to rely on as they are more unstable than uranium(yes people, I still remember my chemistry.)
5. THE VOTER