Thursday, 13 July 2017

First time voter chronicles: Party primaries explained

...well kinda.

Hey guys, third day going strong on this series. It is no glide through  but hey nothing ever comes easy.

This is not the most exciting article yet. It's purpose , though is to answer myself and future first time voters on what the whole party primaries fiasco was, except from one Kenyan clueless youth to you. My L, is your W.

Okay so let's get to it. So you know how in the US General election it is mainly a race between Republicans and Democrats. Each party has to have their holder of the fort, their go to guy (or girl), their rep if you may. A couple of people within the party reckon they got the goods and now it's up to the members to put their support behind those who they feel tick every box in their list of requirements. Remember Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton? The Bern wasn't scalding enough and so the new IT girl on the block took it all the way home.

So that whole process there is a primary.

Sounds clean, sharp, straight forward. So what was the big deal? You think everything is big in Texas you clearly haven't been around these parts.

Blood, sweat and tears was the order of that period in time; crying on national t.v, unrest in some places and the usual busfull of noisemakers all in the name of campaigns.

Thanks to a bunch of disputed results some people who  lost under questionable circumstances and decided that the show must go on, understandably signed up to be independent candidates. Code for, "I don't need you or your political party". While others were plain sore losers and have since decided to also ride solo and give this independent candidacy a shot.

Let me be the first to put my pedestrian opinion out there, pedestrian because I am by no means the next Mutahi Ngunyi, but if you lost fair and square, there's a high chance that if even your own party members don't like you as much as the other guy, sis, be humble and just sit down. The general public at the ballot may just rub the salt deeper into your already stinging wound. Again, Hillary anyone?

So there you have it, party primaries explained.Oh yeah and a little side note. I was confused as to whether I was expected to vote or not, if you are a registered party member then that was your cue. Otherwise, which was my case, just sit back and watch what happens, happen, unless there is something else I should be doing which if you've got the tea let me know in the comments down below. This whole process is a party affair, the only role IEBC plays is setting deadlines for parties to present their respective candidates. Everything else is an in-house affair.

Have a good one!   

Thursday, 6 July 2017

My voter registration process and am I even voting?

I am really trying to keep at this series, whether I like it or not, so as implied in this post let's crack on with my voter registration process.

However, I think a little story  time is in order. In my late teens, when we were at breakfast and just fresh off the announcement of the 2013 general elections results, my dad gave this big speech to both me and my sister. I cannot for the life of me remember what it was about but the take home was in the next general I (me) WILL vote. There was not even so much as an allusion to me having a choice, it was more like it was written in stone.

It is also a vivid memory hearing my parents at the crack of dawn going to vote in 2002, 2007 and 2013. My mom would even go as far as planning our annual Christmas holidays around the election calendar so that we would be back in time for them to cast their vote.

Now I am not sure if the spirit of patriotism burns ever so bright within them or it is they fact that they are career civil servants, what is private sector? and a change in national administration is more hard hitting to them than it is to most.

Flash forward to 2016. It may have been in my Family law class where my lecturer asked by a show of hands who would be voting.Only a handful went up. Do not get it twisted though, that could mean anything. My class has a unified poker face. Not even Dave Chapelle could get so much as a smirk out of us. I know for sure my hand went up, but at the time I was high off the energy the 2016 U.S election carried with it. You have got to give it up to the American people being the most spirited nation out there.

In true Kenyan fashion, the last day of registration found me impatiently queuing to just get it over and done with.

The process in itself was pretty painless and not as time consuming, contrary to my anticipation. The IEBC have taken a whole lot of smack for the past few years leading up to the elections but you have got to hand it to them. It's efficiency, at least in my experience was high up there. For one they were available 6 days a week and yes that means Saturday to. All I needed was my original national ID,my finger prints taken and one crappy photo later I was issued with my voter's card. So to a future first time voter, do not go the last day, maybe you did not here me  the first time, DO NOT PUT IT OFF UNTIL THE LAST DAY.

So I lost  my voter's card.

The story behind my loss is rather boring. It pretty much involves remodelling my room and losing a whole bunch of things in my temporal state of roomlessness (not a word), the voter's card being one of them. The good news is, the big girl I am on a Saturday afternoon dragged my feet to my polling station and confirmed it is indeed no biggie, all I need is my ID when the day is here with us, however I am pretty sure that my voter's card will pop up when I least need it.

And now, will I vote? Should I? Excuse me while I get into my feelings here. These manifesto are beautifully written sounding like an out of this world business plan.But what about the 5 years worth of loose ends? NYS scandals, KDF still in Somalia, industrial strikes every waking moment thanks to CBAs that are only good in theory. Is no one going to tie them up? All these new flashy plans, all I am hearing is mo' money, mo' problems, mo' debt and another burden on the taxpayer.

Work with me here. What I would like to hear is maybe getting KDF out of Somalia and redirecting these resources to I don't know health, education, housing, averting recurring food crises, crack the whip on corruption cases of the yester years, recover embezzled funds because that money can't just be floating somewhere in space and we just let it. Then maybe just maybe a second term will be a guarantee so that you can roll out your fancy shmancy plans.

Have a good one!       

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

First time Kenyan voter chronicles

Welcome to my most likely highly flawed view on politics. With nearly a month to Kenya's general election, this series which I hope I will follow through with, because y'all know how I am on the consistency front, is a voice of another confused under represented, under informed, misinformed Kenyan millenial youth.

Let me paint out the path I hope to take, mostly for me to have a feasible plan and consistent content. It is only logical to start from the very beginning. My voter registration process;did I register, why am I even voting? Did I  seriously think that my vote would change Kenya's course? Do I still think that ?Losing my voter's card because that happened.Verifying my voter info., you know the IEBC works.

Party primaries #wharrathose? The drama that came with it, the dawn of independent candidates, 2017 parliamentary candidates.Presidential and gubernatorial debates, my take.2013-2017 Jubilee government and opposition; what have they done for me since then and lately?

What I expected of the campaign season;manifestos, build up events the kind where I get to know off parliamentary candidates and they get to know my/our needs , voter education and lack thereof (just being brutally honest here), leadership and integrity is it just a show?

The problem with us youth, is there even an active voice for marginalized groups in Kenya i.e women and youth or are we just afraid to say the 'O' word, over representation.

Some other things, will probably crop up within the course of this month, but it will ultimately lead up to the decision I made on whether I should vote or not, what my first time voting experience was like, what is the real climate in the 2-5-4 pre and post general elections and I mean the real climate NOT the international media's take.

Disclaimer: Because my personal documentation of my journey to the ballot is going to be in the somewhat public domain let me make this clear, this is going to be a documentation of my antics as a first time voter. It will not be a broadcast of my political references or affiliations (because I have none). It will probably be a what I expected, what you fellow or soon to be first time voter should expect. If anything, I will steer clear from opinions when it comes  to politics, because what I say on here can be hurriedly misconstrued as hate speech.

This leaves ol' girl over here to tread on less ground than had been anticipated, but we still have some stable ground between my feet and the earth's core so imma have to work with what I have.

Have a good one!