The Economics of Electoral Inversion Ordinarily, an election inversion occurs when the candidate (or party) that wins the most votes from an electorate fails to win the most electoral votes (or parliamentary seats) and therefore loses the election. In 2000, during the US presidential election, then Vice President Al Gore got 50.27 percent of the votes but only received 267 electoral votes, against 271 that then Governor George W. Bush received to be declared president of the United States. In much of Africa there is a type of electoral inversion that occurs when a candidate wins an election where by most pre-election indications he should never have won. Typically he wins as a result of two factors. 1. The presence of witchcraft, that is political witchcraft and 2. The use of political rain makers. Political witchcraft as I have defined it exists when power is exercised without legal authority and at the expense of the wellbeing of the people of a society. Politicians, incumbents or challengers sometimes use every force or power at their disposal to win elections, in what is often described as wining at all costs. The economics in this situation involves costs in the commitment and often loss of human and material resources that could have been used for more productive activities. When a politician engages in undesirable activities which are aimed at illegally achieving an electoral victory he or she is committing political and electoral witchcraft. Engaging in violence, intimidation, harassment, bribery, sycophancy, victimization, embezzlement, nepotism and similar corrupt practices for political and electoral advantage are all manifestations of political witchcraft. Such engagement is injustice which surely leads to bitterness and conflict, or at best underperformance. The costs are social but the benefits are personal and only to the political perpetrator and his or her cronies. As I have said previously, in modern times the term rain maker has come to be used for say an employee of a company who creates a large amount of unexpected business, or consistently brings in money at critical times, and typically significantly more than his or her co-workers. Lately, political rainmakers have also emerged; they may be institutions, associations or personalities. Political rainmakers mostly give large financial donations to their favorite politicians so they can have access to the politician when he or she gets into office. In Africa, especially in Nigeria, political rain makers are politicians or individuals with large follower-ships, with these followers believing that he has access to what they now call stomach infrastructure for them. Therefore, these rainmakers can make it rain or stop it from raining. That is, they can make you win or lose. The economics of using a rainmaker for electoral inversion is straight forward. The costs and benefits are more symmetrical, and social, as they ( the costs and benefits) are shared across society. This is in contrast to the asymmetrical costs and benefits of political witchcraft, where the costs are borne mostly by society, while the benefits are enjoyed typically just by the perpetrator and his cronies. If you are looking for an electoral inversion, it is a good thing if you will employ political rainmakers and not political witchcraft. Our hidden economics for you.
Posted: Feb 9th, 2015 @ 10:04:33 AM