Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
The Slack-Variable Mathematical Inequalities of Electoral Participation in Nigeria
Mobolaji E. Aluko, Ph.D.
Sunday, January 5, 2003
Is there a rational approach to deciding to take part in any given election process? I believe that there is, so let me explain.
A SIMPLE FORMULA
I believe that winning ANY particular election is a simple mathematical formula, and can be reduced to a simple index WC for each candidate:
The quantities in bracket are also assumed to be normalized quantities, that is each is less that the value 1.
That one candidate with the greatest WC has the GREATEST CHANCE of winning the election according to my theory. If your WC is less than 0.5, don't even try to participate!
MY OWN CONVICTION
Well, as for me and my household, I will NEVER participate in ANY electoral election, on my street, in my university, in Ekiti State or in Nigeria UNTIL and UNLESS I determine IN MY OWN MIND that
THE SITUATION IN NIGERIA
I believe that right now in Nigeria, that sub-sum inequalities are:
that is, the WEIGHTING of ideas and electoral oversight and perception of previous performance are so slight that they are easily overwhelmed by the money issue. Electoral oversight is also very thin, too thin in fact. [For the very few mathematically-challenged among our readers ">= " means "greater than or equal to" and <= means "less than or equal to."]
Notice that in Nigeria right now, according to my theory, any given election in any given place, it does not mean that the man or woman with good ideas and even better strategy cannot win. It just means that he or she has an uphill battle, because the weightings are not in his or her favor. Also too many take part in elections when the
CHANGING THE SITUATION
How do we address the above in order to improve the quality of electoral participation, get more quality people elected (or retain them) and boot out political rogues?
I have always called for ELECTORAL REFORMS as the first step of righting this imbalance in weightings because the MONEY FACTOR is very closely linked with efforts to sabotage the ELECTORAL OVERSIGHT. This starts even with the choice of delegates - whether they are a select "collegiate" few, a "party members only", or all the electorate before we get to the choice between candidates.
I believe that a fundamental aspect of electoral reform must be the uncompromised notion that the total number of votes counted and announced for all candidates must be equal to the number of voters sighted at the polling booth. A second notion is that the electoral season must be severely limited in terms of days or months. [TheBritish short season comes to mind here.]
I believe that both of those will raise the weighting W4. Next, the quantity (electoral oversight) will be greatly enhanced by the presence of independent election monitors, both public (eg INEC, SIEC and party monitors) but particularly private (e.g. NGOs).
Finally, the weight W2 will be reduced by government financing of the electoral process, and setting of maximum contributions by private party financiers, coupled with the shortened political season mentioned above.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Until then, let me repeat:
"As for me and my household, I will NEVER participate in ANY electoral election, on my street, in my university, in Ekiti State or in Nigeria UNTIL and UNLESS I determine IN MY OWN MIND that
Maybe by 2007, these slack variable inequality equations would have been fulfilled - but not in 2003. Any other thing for me will be a foolhardy suspension of judgement - or plain clinical insanity.
Have a good Sunday!
http://www.ngrguardiannew.com/editorial_opinion/article01 "The Delegate" in The GuardianRueben Abati; January 5, 2003
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