The case for the congress alliance
THIS article stems from the 11 May 2017 article in the Lesotho Times by Professor Mafa Sejanamane titled “Has the DC committed political suicide?”
In the article, Prof Sejanamane opines that the electoral pact between the Democratic Congress (DC) and Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) would fail.
In fact, he concluded that the agreement was tantamount to political suicide for the DC even before the 3 June 2017 election.
I vehemently disagree with him as will be explained below. Prof Sejanamane cited the split from the DC by members who formed the Alliance of Democrats (AD) and the split from the LCD by members who formed the Movement for Economic Change (MEC).
Prof Sejanamane also cited what he termed “the fast growth” of the All Basotho Convention (ABC). Lastly, he also forecasted an electoral doom scenario for the DCLCD Alliance.
The professor raised very interesting points although he was constrained by his partisanship. I must state from the outset that I will not descent into partisan arguments.
I will venture straight into political science arguments in relation to the aforementioned postures.
The value of comparison lies with human action to strive to understand the phenomena or a para- digm in different respects.
In fact, Landman (2000), puts it as a natural human activity geared towards establishing facts relating to human activity, “from antiquity to the present, generations of humans have sought to understand and explain the similarities and differences they perceive between themselves and others. In short, to compare is to be human”.
These important points are very crucial when comparing political alliances such as the DC-LCD pact as postulated by Prof Sejanamane.
He claims that the formation of this alliance is motivated by perceived weaknesses that both parties have observed rather than perceived strength.
The postulation of the Sejanamane thesis is wanting because it does not reveal all sides of the story.
An alliance or coalition government is a mechanism through which willing parties come together to lead the nation.
Their agreement is usually based on a shared policy agreement they want to pursue in government.
These types of governments or rather alliances consist of two or more political parties who must compromise on principles and shared mandates to govern the country.
For example, all Belgian cabinets since 1954 have been coalitions of two or more parties with more than but during political crises as well as during World War II from 19311940 in Great Britain.
So the argument that the DC and LCD formed an alliance because of their perceived weaknesses does not necessarily hold water.
The alliance is simply a political strategy and the acknowledgement and acceptance of political realignment in the political sphere within the electorate.
Parties need to adapt to changing political, economic and social circumstances if they have to survive in a liberal democracy. The DC and LCD are therefore not an exception to this change.
There are a plethora of examples of political party decay and failures as a consequence of the inability to perform satisfactorily which drives the parties to change.
Parties need to appeal to a broad constituency of voters.
The DC-LCD strategy is akin to this very approach and, therefore, it is grossly unfair to demonise them for their strategy. In fact, theirs is a perfect strategy in our liberal democracy.
This strategy is neither naïve nor suicidal as argued by the article but it is the best strategy geared towards maximizing the two parties’ electoral strength.
There's the issue of the voter turnout in the 3 June election. In all possibility, this might rubbish the professor’s analysis.
It is not known how many Congress ideology supporters will be wooed back to the movement if there's a possibility that it can regroup.
It is a sentimental issue close to Congress diehards’ hearts. Therefore, the coming together of Congress parties may be the masterstroke that opponents fear most. The Congress rallies are very impressive so far.
Both the leaders of Congress parties are animated and breathing fire, that’s what supporters want in a leader.
In fact, the resurgence of the congress movement, as seen in current rallies, point us in this direction. The Congress movement is emerging with a thunderous lightning speed.
Lesotho’s MMP system Lesotho uses a Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMPR) electoral system or what is known as the Compensatory Model.
This electoral system is founded on the principle that governments are formed by an agreement of willing parties.
These parties’ main interest is to influence government policies and programmes in the direction
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