Somaliland: Elections are a one_day sale

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FILE - Woman casts her ballot in Somaliland municipal elections, Nov. 28, 2012. (Credit: Kate Stanworth) FILE - Woman casts her ballot in Somaliland municipal elections, Nov. 28, 2012. (Credit: Kate Stanworth)
Election campaigns are stressful, costly and time consuming. While nothing can eliminate the stress of the countdown to Election Day, there are campaign fundamentals that can be the difference between winning and losing. No matter what level of race one is running, campaign fundamentals are core to winning.
It’s essential that every campaign have a theory of how to win the election. This has to be a given at the outset of any campaign. Every  campaign should start with the question, “How can I win? Developing a strategy and implementing it is where the rubber meets the road.
Respect is also a fundamental factor to winning and candidates with compelling ethics and conscious conduct always avoid to level baseless allegations and accusations against their political opponents.
The contest between the two political parties, Wadani and Kulmiye, has served to highlight two rather different political strategies.
   Kulmiye’s Campaign Politcal Strategy
One basic tenet of winning an election is that the candidate must know what he wants. The candidate ought know that he wants votes from people he cannot control their mind. The base from which a candidate should start with his campaign strategy should be “How can I win the hearts of the people,” and this requires enabling creating mechanisms like finding facts,  choosing slogan, identifying serious issues, selecting ideas, selling the idea and elevating the voters. These steps build up the basic process to win elections.
Kulmiye’s presidential candidate has not even  thought any of above essentials for election campaign, has he?
People are looking to vote for a leader who will improve their lives. It is a must or incumbent upon the candidate to discuss in detial what he  intends to do for the country and define how he is going to get it done and why he is going to do it. He must also talk about  big issues that he would like to improve or change and flesh out a plan on how to accomplish such goals.This will give voters a reason to vote for a candidate.
What small problems do we have that could grow into bigger ones? What slows our work or makes it more difficult? What do we often fail to achieve? Where do we have bottlenecks? What is frustrating and irritating people? Kulmiye’s presidential candidate did not take note of such questions, let alone come up with other initiatives.
People hate fake candidates. There are traits to know them. Fake candidates always decline to define themselves, but try to steal the show. They talk more first and think and act less later. They never seem to turn their weakness into wisdom. They are petty and eager to make boasts, yet desire that others should believe in them. They enthusiastically engage in deception, yet want others to have affection for them. They  conduct themselves like vulgars, yet want  others to think well of them.
When fake candidates make accusations against their opponents, make sure they themselves are not the guilty ones. It is those whose case is weak who make the most clamour. We learned such lessons from Kulmiye campaign strategy.
Presidential elections present voters with national issues that need to be addressed. Most people consider the candidate’s stands on problems that are made by bad human decisions but could be solved by good human decisions. Voters then decide to support the candidate that demonstrates the best policies and plans.
Kulmiye’s underlying assumption is that politics is merely the art of the possible – that fighting for one’s dreams and ideals is naïve at best, and that one must only ever work within existing realities for small, incremental changes.
The point that has to be clearly understood is that Kulmiye just don’t understand that what is “possible” is by no means a fixed reality. Possibility is not a fact. Possibilities can change – and they change when people rise up, en masse, and begin to demand something different than the existing realities.
A good politician knows that the key to winning elections is to make great promises.  Candidates promise to cure whatever societies are fed up of like bad governance, corruption, injustice and tired procedures. They promise to make vast improvements in education, employment, infrastructure, and the economy.

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Kumiye’s presidential candidate has not yet  presented the people with plans on how to  revive the legend of the economic miracle, remake the country a place where people have no worry about living and young people merrily go to work.
Kulmiye has not yet discovered why one idea works and another does not work.
     Wadani Campaign Political Strategy
In contrast to this is what we might call political change, which understands that the secret to political change is to change the wind, Wadani, under the leadership of Mr Abdirahman Cirro, has changed the wind and moved the goal posts on what we believe might be realistically inevitable in this nation.
More importantly, Wadani party has awoken and mobilized  thousands of Somaliland people across the country to begin demanding that unrestrained political corruption is intolerable and that the inflation of misgoverning is no longer acceptable.
Wadani party won the hearts of Somaliland people by ensuring that Somaliland people would be unconditionally led with policies based on justice, transparency, accountability, and freedom of expression.
Wadani party underlined the point that we’re all  naive to think that our own social system can withstand the barrage of dishonesty it has been undergoing for the last decades. Wadani party  acknowledged the reality that the change we want is about closing old chapter and opening a new one, a change that brings justice and equal opportunities back to all people, a new governing system that is committed to  eradicate corruption and all forms of immoral acts.
When it comes to the question of economic growth, Wadani party is committed to pursue national policies that promote innovation to ensure that there will be enough prosperity to carry on into the next generation.
Basically economic growth comes from people individually seeking what is in their own interests by providing what is in the interests of others. The collective consequence of their actions, under a stable rule of law, is to create the starting point of where power and preparation for progress meet.
Three factors create economic growth:natural resources, human resources, and better use of existing resources.
The best investment this country can make is in its people. Wandani party promises to allocate
more resources to education in all grades; target resources to the poorest areas and most marginalized children; establish policies and methods that improve education quality; and
strengthen learning assessment systems and implement accountability measures that involve teachers’ qualification, and develop skills among S/land youth.  Educated people  are at the heart of healthy, productive and prosperous societies.
Almost all S/land people are not aware of how important our natural resources are and how life without them will not exist. They do not consider what nature provides for them on a daily basis. Think about life without air, water, light and food.
There are limited and unlimited Natural resources. For instance sunlight, wind, and the air we breathe are unlimited. We cannot imagine a time when we will not have an abundance of such resources.
The limited resources are those resources that  exist in a fixed amount that cannot be re-made, re-grown or regenerated as fast as they are  consumed and used up. Iron, oil and gas are examples of limited resources. They are non_renewable resources.
Animals are also limited resources but they are  renewable resources because, like plants, we  can breed them to make more. Livestock, like cows, camels, sheep and chickens, all fall into the renewable resources.
When there is bad governance,  like Kulmiye  government, of course, these resources are destroyed: The forests are deforested, illegal logging or burning trees for coal takes place, soil gets eroded,  and the land turns into desert.  These issues become linked to bad governance, to corruption, to poor national leadership.
Wadani party promises to protect the land, to invest in livestock, to encourage agriculture sectors, to build strong army forces, to develop skills among citizens and make all that happen.
The respects in which we’re are precisely poor, are the ways that support our inability to keep intellectualising our economy. The respects in which we distinctly have recurrent draught and famine  are also the respects in which we are not taking care of our natural resources.
Elections are a one_day sale. The sale has already been made at the campaign starting day. The election campaign kick off was a show of strength. The rallies of the two parties, Wadani and Kulmiye, showed where the wind was going to shift.
Wadani party opened up the election campaign trail with massive leads across the board, all S/land regions, a lead which the party still retains.
It was a moment of deciding, a revolution day, a new day that the hope revived, and a day S/land citizens shared the same feeling, the same sentiment against the incumbent regime, the love of their own country to have a change for the better, and elect a new leader who will lead the country and its people aright.
By:Jama Falaag
 Harris’s, Somaliland

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Horndiplomat editorial policy.

If you want to submit an opinion piece or an analysis please email it to Duale@horndiplomat.com

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