By Chorphie Charlie (April 14th 2005)
"... my fellow country-people, decide which voter you are going to be and let’s make Liberia a great nation. As for me, I chose to be a rational voter. On the altar of God I pledge undying resistance to fraudulent votes. ...."
Considering the volatile political and military situations that have engulfed Liberia, Liberian voters can be classified into the following categories:
1. Hypocrite and Sycophant voters: These are voters who will vote for any body, not because of that person good or positive leadership qualities. They will vote due to what they can get from that person, i.e. money, job, ability to steal without any questioning. It doesn't matter as to whether their presidential wannabee is the same as the opposing candidate. These voters will vote against their opponent only because they might have fallen out of favor with the opposing candidate, and now they have a new bandwagon to ride. Their vote is base on deceit and hypocrisy.
2. Warlord voters: These people’s votes desire a protective status simply because they believe that together, if they lose, they will face punishment for their destructive acts during the war years. They have together killed, raped, and destroyed the nation. Thus, they will stick together despite their differences (many warring factions) because they can already hear the people talking about WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL. They hold the key to the election due to their majority status, and therefore they will not hesitate to vote against any candidate who might be viewed as aiming to prosecute them.
3. Xenophobia voters: These are hardcore tribalists and power greed people; they believe that come what, they have a right to rule. They do not care about others. They feel victimized and therefore, it is their right to rule. “This thing here, we got to fight for ourselves, otherwise we will continue to suffer.”
4. Miseducated voters: These are the so-called “educated Liberians”. Their vote is based on a false premise that a person who has obtained a college degree is knowledgeable in government affairs and therefore that person is qualified to be a great leader. Most of these voters are not nationalists and patriotic. They also believe that a person who has “international contact” is the best person to lead Liberia. Thus, Liberia government affairs will not depend on the needs of the Liberian people but what some foreign multinational corporation or government says is best for Liberia. These voters are mostly comprised of elements from the failed political system in Liberia, which has caused the social degradation the people of Liberia suffer. They lack understanding of the Liberian complexities, in terms of Liberia’s socio-cultural traditions.
5. Hostile intellectual voters: these voters are related to the Miseducated voters by a share belief that they alone know what is best for Liberia, only because they have obtained a college degree. Most of these voters are very intolerant to alternative views, hostile, and will elect any means outside of democratic framework to obtain power. Like their counter-part, the miseducated voters, they lack nationalistic and patriotic spirit. They pretend to be champions of the people rights through deceit, threats, and political agitation against anyone who disagrees with them. They mostly rely on international assistance in the name of human or civil rights to cause chaos for Liberia.
6. Protest voters: These voters have not yet seen a better alternative candidate capable of good leadership. For them, like the patriotic and nationalist voters, “college degree” by itself does not make a person a good leader. Therefore, as a protest against all of the so called “educated candidates,” they will choose to vote for another candidate even though they are aware that such a candidate has not demonstrated great knowledge and leadership in governmental affairs. Their only aim is to stop those they perceived as being responsible for all of the troubles in Liberia from taking hold of government. They rather choose someone who was not part of the failed political class in Liberia.
7. Patriotic and nationalist voters: These are people who might not have otherwise voted for a particular candidate to win. But they will not hesitate to vote for that person because they have not seen a better alternative candidate. For them, most of the mainstream contestants are no different from one another; therefore, their vote will be based on a candidate’s patriotic and nationalistic commitment to Liberia. Leadership and not education is what these voters are looking for. Because voting for a so called “better educated candidate” might lead to the same result of making one of the other bad candidates to win. Thus, because they do no want any of the other bad candidates to win, they will vote purely based on patriotic and nationalistic grounds. Like the warlord voters, they also command a majority presence, and are referred to as the illiterates or uneducated voters by the Miseducated and hostile intellectual voters.
8. Rational voters: These are voters who will vote for a candidate base on a combination of factors: leadership, education, service, patriotism, and nationalism. They believe that whosoever they will vote for should be the best person to do the job, in realization of the Liberian complexities, recognizing the need for unity, reconciliation, and national social development. Their only reason for voting for a particular candidate is based on their faith in that candidate actual potential, capability and quality to lead.
So my fellow country-people, decide which voter you are going to be and let’s make Liberia a great nation. As for me, I chose to be a rational voter. On the altar of God I pledge undying resistance to fraudulent votes. “Excuse me while I throw out.’
Articles by Chorpie Charlie>>>>
About the author:
Chorphie Charlie is a social and political commentator who resides in Philadelphia. He can be reached at email@example.com