December 22, 2007

BUCKING FOR THE AFRICA SEAT ON THE NEW SECURITY COUNCIL:

Kenya Tests New Style of Politicking: Campaigns Reflect Effects of Technology, Increased Openness (Stephanie McCrummen, 12/22/07, Washington Post)

While massive rallies remain the staple of electoral politics here, the new style of campaigning is being driven by such factors as the proliferation of cellphones and Internet connections and the flow of information from abroad. Kenyans in the United States are e-mailing in tips derived from the U.S. presidential race. A younger, more media-savvy electorate is also exerting influence, with Odinga's campaign, for instance, hiring a 20-year-old music producer from a recording company called Blue Zebra to work on its events.

But most significantly, many people here see such developments as reflecting a more open political system in Kenya, an East African nation that only recently emerged from two decades of repressive rule under President Daniel arap Moi, whom Kibaki defeated in 2002.

Odinga, the opposition front-runner, was jailed during the Moi years for advocating multiparty democracy. Now he is Kibaki's main opponent.
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There is a new diversity in the news media. Moi controlled the only state-run television, whereas now there are three private broadcasters and dozens of radio stations.

And the idea of surveying opinions is no longer unthinkable. "We have expanded the space in terms of freedom of expression," said George Waititu, managing director of the Steadman Group, the largest polling firm in sub-Saharan Africa. "The electorate has a bigger voice to talk back. So I think it is an indicator of the state of democracy here."

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 22, 2007 9:19 AM
Comments

I take it that is is the principle of Affirmative Action which would give a seat on the Security Council to a country lacking the material power to contribute to world security.

Take care that we do not entertain the soft bigotry of lowered expectations, as we do with respect to Baraka Hussein Obama and Johnson's walking dog, praising the deed not because it is done well, but because it is done at all.

Posted by: Lou Gots at December 22, 2007 4:21 PM

Each continent should have one: America, India, England, Brazil, Australia & Kenya/Uganda or similar.

Posted by: oj at December 22, 2007 4:57 PM
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