After a high-profile campaign marathon, we finally got to the finish line to elect the Regional Chairman and his executive.
It was a massive win for Desmond Pessima as Chairman. That is the beauty of constitutional Democracy. It keeps politicians on their toes to account.
The percentage win for Chairman Pessima makes me think if I ever had a plan to run for office, to wait until he retires from SLPP NA Regional politics.
Constitutional Democracy sets the time, the power vested in the offices, the place, and qualifications for elections to be held. The SLPP NA elections of March 27th, 2021, did just that for us in Maryland. This time, through electors, to vote for the Regional Body.
The process was free, fair, and transparent. Democracy at its best when played by SLPP, in so far as the Sierra Leone politics is concerned.
This brings me to this.
When Democratic institutions work properly, one can clearly see power vested in the hands of the people. Observe all the politicians at the end of their terms, and you see them bending over to reach out, appealing to the people in whose hands their fate lies.
Well, except in Communist Dictatorships. You don’t have to worry about elections. Or, if they happen, you’re assured.
In any case, a clear win in an election gives the party/candidate the will to reshape the government’s priorities; in this case, the SLPPNA.
The unlikely scenarios to win an election in constitutional Democracies when you don’t meet expectations are few.
Some voters might vote because they believe; for example, a woman can do a better job than a man when it comes to the economy/money, or in times of war/protecting the nation, a male leader is better at the helm.
This is what makes the practice of democracy beautiful. The right to chose.
Normally, incumbents have the power of incumbency during re-election. It’s all about money in today’s world of politics. The more money you have, the better your chances.
Donors, therefore, at least the majority, have the belief that the current holder gets re-election.
So, donors contribute to your campaign, hoping for positive results and for candidates to reciprocate for donating to their campaign.
Another advantage of incumbency is hinged on name recognition and pointing to the things they have done and achieved in the office.
Opposition candidates and campaign teams can seize on the opportunity and slice through your administration’s failures using this tactic and pointing out your flaws. This can be detrimental. Normally, politicians would have seen the rock rolling down the mountain before even the campaign begins.
It gives candidates and their campaign teams enough time to respond. Some staffers are so poor at strategizing that their focus shifts from the issues to personal attacks. (Familiar?)
Also, In this digital age, most of the world’s population gets their information on the go—Portable internet devices/computers, etc., except in areas with limited internet access.
During elections, social media websites are awash with political ads trying to reach most of the platforms available.
The use of social media is so polarized that it has its own disadvantages.
Campaign strategists, campaign staffers, and candidates must diligently navigate this field, all in tandem to make the campaign successful with information of their own lauding the administration’s successes.
Also, money has come to make huge differences in campaigns. (Campaign finance).
Only in history when it was conceivable that money will not bear much impact on elections. Where campaign spending and campaign successfully created an election quagmire.
Those who lose elections must do soul-searching and find the reasons for their election loss. There is always a next political life.
Why am I telling you all this?
High or lower-level elections bears similar characteristics for winning elections like the high-level ones:
1) careful planning and availability of funds.
2) appropriated winning strategies and the path to victory.
3) clarifying campaign strategies, manifestos, and hiccups.
4) Good communications team. It all boils down to Public Relations strategy.
Public Relations Officer (PROs) must devise ways to clarify campaign goals, objectives.
5) most campaign strategists or staffers respond to the negative with the negatives. Sometimes, it does not help.
Some independent observers assert that most independent voters abhor negative campaign strategies. They also reiterate that most Independents voters make their decisions close to elections.
Good staffers keep their focus and appropriate responses to issues affecting the campaign.
The way the election was won in the SLPPNA Region, Chairman Pessima’s campaign shredded the East Coast axis, went down south behind enemy lines. He also shared the spoils on the West Coast. Effectively enough to brush aside any question of likability.
That’s strewed politics.
It takes real soul searching and a good postmortem to know why elections are won or lost. This election was a reflection of real politics to expect. A reflection to see what we need to focus on as a Party comes in 2023.
Election loss is not new in politics anyway and certainly not the end of the political life of the candidate.
We have had so many great leaders in history that have either failed at their first attempt or succeeded in others. Others who have failed after their first success has had to rebrand and go again.
We wish all the candidates who contested in the SLPPNA elections well.
To the new administration, we say congratulations. Job well done. Your own examination starts now.
One Country, One People