19.4.11

And Zambia too

The success of the much derided Perussuomalaiset (True Finns) political party in the Finnish parliamentary elections astounded a few but offers a few lessons for Zambians and their could be leaders.

Zambians desperately need something to believe in; an ideology, the assurance of temporal gain that stirs our soul enough to take us to the poll booth. Preferably this will not be a message of hate, xenophobia and religious fundamentalism that has stoked fires under many populations causing carnage and bloodshed.

The second lesson is youth. Nine of the new Finnish MPs are under 30. The old guard is Zambian politics is essentially that – old. They battle among themselves, switching allegiances and swapping seats. They have learned to play old-school politics. Many of our younger people have experienced more than the Zambian way of doing things, they have lived, worked and studies in other countries and some are even involved in politics there. They run our banks and telephone companies as international professionals. A large enough force of fresh faces would make a significant change in political strategies.  

Finally, we learn that free and fair elections can make a significant change in our country’s politics. A party that is founded on what its people want can move from minority to majority. This can happen if we impassion our people, wake them up from their apathetic slumber and give them something for which to vote. 

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