Mudavadi On US Elections: Democracy Works. Pollsters Have Been Shamed

I take this opportunity to congratulate the American people for upholding democracy and handing president-elect Donald Trump a hard-fought victory.  I had an opportunity to grace the Democratic convention in Philadelphia and therefore applaud Hilary Clinton for her determined campaign.

She fought hard and gracefully. She may not have broken the glass ceiling for women but it obviously shattered. The moral victory belongs to her.

In this victory, there are lessons for Kenya; that upholding the will of the people by giving everybody a chance is the best form of democracy.  That despite the dirty campaign bordering on character assassination, the candidates addressed issues dear to Americans. I do hope that as we go to elections next year, we will not borrow the dirty bad manners and forget issues such as mega corruption, a stagnant economy and unsustainable national debt, ethnic exclusion and devolution.

Trump won from nowhere. But from the word go, media pundits across the world gave Trump no chance of electability even as he zoomed through the Republican Party primaries without support of the party. Opinion polls equally gave Trump no chance.

This is not new; the myth of opinion polling has been exploded before again and again. Pollsters’ predicted defeat for Israeli premier Netanyahu came a cropper as did the massive victory of former UK premier Cameron and Brexit poll.

We have our own concerns about the unholy-alliance between media and pollsters in Kenya and how they seek to manipulate people’s perceptions to reflect a reality that doesn’t exist.  It is a lesson media and pollsters have yet to learn; no matter how they try to manipulate opinion and perception, the Israeli, British and USA examples show it is the opinion of people voting that counts.

To the disappointed supporters of Hilary in Kenya, I say your favourite may not have won but you should feel emboldened by her tenacity.

Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, EGH

ANC Party Leader

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