Spencer Mogapi writes in the Watchdog Column: “As things stand, it is extremely significant and politically symbolic that BDP’s popular vote stands at an embarrassing 52%”.
Contrary to this assertion, there is nothing embarrassing about the 52% popular vote, save to say that the BDP won outright the mandate to govern. It is, however, no secret that the Party would like to up its popular vote beyond the 52% naturally as we are inclined to want to improve on our performance. The only Party that appears to gain pleasure in reversing their gains and performance is the BNF. Nonetheless, Spencer Mogapi, in his script, fails to recognise this glaring fact.
In the first-past-the-post system, it is generally acceptable that the Party that makes up majority representation in Parliament forms the government. In the 2001 UK elections, Tony Blair’s Labour Party won the elections with a 40.7% popular vote, followed by William Hague’s Conservative party with 31.7% and Liberal Democrats with 18.3%. Again in 2005, Tony Blair’s Labour came to power garnering 36.91% popular vote, Michael Howard’s Conservative came second with 33.86% and liberal Democrats stood at 23.09%. That the combined vote for the opposition Parties was/is more than that of Labour is neither here nor there. The Westminster system, like other forms of democracy allows for multiparty, and ‘mathematically’ speaking, where there are more than two Parties, there is a probability that a Party forming government will not have a popular vote over 50%. This does not put to question the validity of the Party forming government, as the UK case shows.
As pointed out earlier, the BDP would like to increase its share of popular vote as the party is keen on continuous improvement and wants to fulfil its contractual agreement with the citizens of this country. Against Spencer Mogapi’s views that the “only pragmatic and most forward looking weapon available to us as voters would be to deny that party a landslide victory”, I hold that the only pragmatic and most forward looking weapon available to voters is to give the BDP a landslide victory in order for the party to pursue its mandate of delivering to the electorate in vigour.
Interestingly, Spencer Mogapi is not giving the electorate what methods to adopt in denying the BDP a landslide majority and we can only assume, which then leaves his argument incomplete or rather hanging. We can assume that he is saying Batswana should not vote in the next coming elections because, again, by so doing, they can reduce the BDP popular vote. True as it could be, I can only hope that the above assumption is wrong for Spencer Mogapi being a responsible citizen would not like to recklessly throw such poison chalice to the nation.
Another line of assumption could be that Spencer Mogapi is urging Batswana to vote the opposition and, in this way, reduce the BDP’s popular vote. In following this line of inquiry, Spencer Mogapi will be disingenuous because the voters have rejected the opposition BNF and BCP in the past general elections. Voters have continuously rejected opposition Parties because they have nothing of substance to offer. One then fails to understand what Spencer Mogapi is about. His pen should otherwise be directed at the disgraceful failure of the opposition to provide an alternative agenda.
Opposition parties have, from time to time, let Batswana down by engaging in internal bouts whenever elections date draws nearer and have also failed to come up with convincing policies. I cannot believe that under the circumstances, any normal being, or any normal Spencer Mogapi, can clamour for the BNF support. The party is tearing and shredding itself to pieces, unsurprisingly because this is normal practice as we approach the elections, save to say this time around they really perfected their art for they completely mutilated themselves beyond recognition. As for the BCP, little said of them the better, because sooner after the elections, they will inherit the few left over’s from the BNF under the false hope that they are increasing their popular vote “mogobagoba” forgetting that they are inheriting the most of diehard problematic and uncompromising hardliners. I am of the opinion that come 2011, should the BCP manage to entice BNF left over’s, they will begin to experience what the current BNF is going through ÔÇô tearing themselves to pieces.
In support of Spencer Mogapi’s tragic trajectory comes the opposition card bearer Kenneth Dipholo, who nonetheless decides to launch an onslaught against Batswana and the choices they make. Kenneth Dipholo lays claim to knowledge and rubbishes Batswana’s intellect and independent streak, accusing them of being “a pathetic flock that is criminally responsible for our disappearing democracy”. He goes further: “By now it should be clear to young people that their parents and older brothers and sisters have betrayed and auctioned them”. If Batswana have any reason not to vote the opposition BNF/BCP it is for the very reason their intellect (Batswana) comes to question.
For the opposition through their self appointed ‘UB SRC style Minister of Information and Propaganda’ Dr Kenneth Dipholo to launch such a blistering attack on the young people’s parents, older brothers and sisters is unpardonable. Furthermore it is with sadness that the self proclaimed intellects confidently think that they can set the agenda for our people and determine the future of this country. The young people must protect their parents, their older brothers and sisters, by voting the BDP in large numbers come October, after all the ANC did it. This they should do to underscore that they are capable of setting their own agenda.
Spencer Mogapi and Kenneth Dipholo should understand that in casting their vote, Batswana are quite aware of their ‘environment and its surroundings”. They are intentionally rejecting the opposition because they have nothing to offer except label Batswana a “pathetic flock”. To get the sympathy vote of the electorate, opposition Parties must come up with convincing programmes that will advance the living conditions of Batswana, something the BDP is ably carrying out. As the opposition continues working on panel beating their relationships, the BDP continues to reaffirm its readiness to lead people to prosperity. We have a track record of delivering on our promises. Hopefully with the vibrant and pulsating Tebelelo Seretse as the Party Chairperson come July, the BDP shall further their contractual obligation with the electorate. There is still no alternative.
*Mokwepa Kearatha is a pseudonym. The writer is a senior civil servant who has asked that his real identity be kept confidential