Do you know what is wrong with the French people?
Did the French people tell you that something is wrong with them?
Ah, anyone with eyes can see that something terribly is wrong with them.
What exactly do you mean? And why the concern about the French people, don’t you have enough wahala to think about in Ghana?
Ah, you! We live in a globalised world and the problem of one is the problem of all.
Globalised, another fanciful name for colonialism!
There you go again with your anti-imperialism nonsense. You didn’t answer my question?
Hey, c’mon now. Don’t tell me you now suffer from amnesia.
I won’t tell you what ails me since you’re not a doctor?
But seriously, don’t you think that something is terribly wrong with the French people?
What exactly do you mean?
Now you are talking. Didn’t you follow their recent presidential election?
Me, hell, no! I have better things to do than worry my head off about elections in far away France. The December election in Ghana is enough worry for me. What about all these ethnocentric cum tribalistic tendencies that are cropping up. I would think that is enough worries for a Ghanaian than far French elections.
Ah, I thought an anti-imperialist polemicist like you will also try to know what is happening in the West.
Nothing is going to happen in the West that has never happened before. Whoever win or lose election in France, or anywhere in the West, is of little concern to me because I know that the policies towards Africa will remain the same. It has been cast in solid rock. The West will forever try to exploit us and our minerals until we can stop them. And for a country like France, I know that no French president can alter the colonial relationship France still maintains with her African colonies. No French president will dare change the Colonial Pact that still guide French relationship with her colonies in Africa. So, why bother my head about elections in France?
Hmm. There you go again. Actually, I didn’t come for ponderous lectures on neo-colonialism and all those jargon you like to spew about. I just want to share with you what I perceived as the great weakness in the French political system.
And since when did you become a political scientist or is it international relations expert now?
Ah, my friend, you like to put me down too much. Don’t you think that the French can learn a thing or two on how to go about organizing and conducting elections from we in Africa?
Are you for real? The French have been conducting their brand of elections for upward of two hundred and something years. What do you think they can learn from upstarts like us?
That is what you think. And I wonder why a self-described Pan-Africanist like you will put us down so much.
Heaven knows that I did no such thing. We have our very bright spots in Africa, but we cannot delude ourselves that we are champions when it comes to organizing free and fair and transparent elections, if at all anything.
Me, what? Do you honestly believe that organizing elections can become a main export for us in Africa?
You really have away of twisting things, you. Actually I think the French people are rather sick and boring. I watched the whole elections, the campaign and all. It was so boring. Even the candidates don’t know how to get angry in their debates. They were so civil, so polite. It made me want to vomit. Gosh!
And what do you find boring when people, even political opponents, decided to treat one another with respect?
The whole thing lacked colour, it lacked pungency, and it lacked pugnacity. It was so boring that I nearly die of boredom.
What would have preferred, then?
That is what I was coming to before you started your interruption. OK, let begin from the basic. The whole basis of election is to win, at all cost. If you have to pummel those naïve enough to challenge you, so be it. If you have to kiss ass, let it be done. Even if you have to sell granny, I see nothing wrong with that. But when I see those French wimps campaign for political office like they are in a seminary, it really gets my goat. There should be some seriousness in the matter.
I failed to see the logic in your argument.
Another problem with you; you seek logic in everything. We are talking elections and winning at all cost and you are looking for logic. Is election a branch of mathematics? I bet those French
wimps cannot win even a ward election in any part of our beautiful Ghana. Tweeh.
What do you find to celebrate in the types of election we hold in Ghana, even in Africa?
That is what you don’t understand and will never understand. Variety, they say, is the spice of life. What is the point in going through life and do only boring, even if unpredictable things.
And you think that elections whose resulted can be predicted is the way to go?
Looks like you are wising up, finally. In Africa, it is almost a given that the president will win. What is left is for the opposition to make enough noise so that they can increase their nuisance value which is nothing but negotiating tactics. Those in oppistion in Africa knows that they are born losers unless the Main Man, Mr. Presidnet, messed up big time. So, opposition leaders in Africa wisely make enough. They threaten hell and brimstone. They head for the courts even before the final votes are counted. They mobilize their supporters who clash with police who beat them up. African opposition leaders recognized that those things are necessary to make them look good when they address international media. They put it on YouTube and other social media. The president, embarrassed by all the negative international media attention, will gladly sit down with his opponents and before you know it, the opposition leader vociferating loudly has accepted to serve as Prime Minister, or a Minister or an Ambassador. It is a game and everyone recognizes it.
What are you talking about?
I almost gag when I watch the outgoing French President calling to congratulate his opponent, when even the official results have not been announced. It was only an exit poll analyses, and the idiot conceded. What was he thinking about? I am glad I’m not among his supporters. I could have put fatwa on him. Can you imagine a sitting African president conceding defeat and congratulating his opponent?
Ex President Wade did it in Senegal.
Another loser, if you ask me. But what should we expect from a Methuselah? Don’t you see that we could blame that on senility? The man is said to be 99 or above; so all the fight is out of him. Let’s face facts; no one loses election in Africa?
C’mon now, in every contest, there is bound to be winner and loser?
Ah, you talk as though you don’t live in Africa. Do you think that our politicians think of elections as mere contest? Hell, no! It is a do-or-die affair where no hold is barred and where one does not go in to take prisoners. What would election in Africa be without its attendant violence, mayhem and things?
And do you honestly believe that is something to be proud of, don’t you think that it is we that need lectures on how to conduct our elections with decorum?
Get out of there. You want us to start having those boring elections where people do not even know how to get real angry. Where there is hardly any violence visited upon opponents and enemies? You can’t be serious!
I really don’t know what to make of what you are telling me. What is there to celebrate in violent elections? We saw what a happened in Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, etc, do you honestly believe that is the way to go?
No, no, no! Those were carried into excesses! No, I don’t advocate such wholesale wanton massacre. What I truly hate is the type of spice-less, utterly boring elections the like the French just conducted, where a sitting president, an executive president for that matter, with all the powers and authority at his disposal will turn wimpish and let his followers down!
What should he have done?
That is why I said that the French need to come to us in Africa and learn a thing or two about how elections are conducted. Gosh, what was the man thinking, conceding like that?
He was just following tradition. Projections said he had lost, why should he prolong the agony?
Projections, my foot. Who does the projecting? Give me a break and give me the African type of elections any time. Our politicians really know how to go about this election thing, honest. Even if they don’t know anything else, they know elections. Even if they know little or nothing about the art of governance, our politicians are in a league of their own when it comes to elections. When it comes down to organizing elections, no one can hold candle to African politicians. Didn’t you listen to a sitting Mp asking his supporters to go for machetes and butcher people?
Do you really think that manipulating elections and visiting violence is a thing to be celebrated?
Ah, you really don’t get it. You seem not to grasp the whole picture. You have to begin from the basics. Societies are organized by people to serve their interests, right? Organizing political parties and periodic elections are part of the games society devised to keep itself in business. It means that every member of the society must enjoy the benefits. Look, party macho men are needed only during election periods. That is their only window of opportunity to get a little from the political or national cake, right. After elections, the elite simply forget the party foot soldiers who toil to get them elected. No one remembers them when millions of dollars are given to Financial Engineers. If the poor, party macho men are deprived of this single opportunity to earn something, how do you expect them to take care of their families? If the macho men are not allowed to do their thing, break some skulls, bones and arms here and there, where does that leave the gallant men and women of our police force who are paid handsome allowances to keep the peace at election time? If police fail to make arrest, it follows that the court will have nothing to do; depriving the brave lawyers, who can speak from here till tomorrow without making any sense, solid avenue for revenue. We shouldn’t forget that judges are also human beings. They expect some of the political money to pipe-line their ways into their pockets. If, heaven forbid, we become wimpish like those French frogs, how do we expect our politicians to incite followers to orgies of violence so that they can manipulate their ways into one office or the other? I hope that you are getting the picture. Don’t you think it is something worth teaching to the French? Don’t you think that we can charge the French a modest fee on how to properly conduct elections?
I bet they can’t wait to sign up.