Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rational ignorance

The following excerpt is from wikipedia: but it is a quintessential illustration of the palpable political apathy of most Ugandans:

"Rational ignorance occurs when the cost of educating oneself on an issue exceeds the potential benefit that the knowledge would provide.
Ignorance about an issue is said to be "rational" when the cost of educating oneself about the issue sufficiently to make an informed decision can outweigh any potential benefit one could reasonably expect to gain from that decision, and so it would be irrational to waste time doing so. This has consequences for the quality of decisions made by large numbers of people, such as general elections, where the probability of any one vote changing the outcome is very small." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_ignorance

The continuing nagging question in Uganda should be: In a country that has an abundant diversity of individuals with talent, ingenuity and ability (many of whom it continues to lose through brain drain!); more than enough to revitalize our country if Big man rule were to give way to diversity in leadership! Is it rational to continue with only one leader for more than 23 years? A leader who orchestrated a change in the constitution to favor his overextended stay in power. A leader who had the audacity to appoint his own wife to a cabinet post! A wife who is also a member of parliament! A choice that can only be described as political inbreeding and therefore, likely to multiply the flaws of this kind of leadership! See the cost of brain drain in Africa!

Every eligible citizen in a democracy should be well informed and more than willing to vote with a clear conscious without any fear or bias.
Governments affect everyone and therefore everyone owes it to themselves to be informed. Not necessarily on political parties or candidates, but because everyone pays taxes. Its your hard earned money that pays for government, its officials and the services they provide.
If you paid someone for a service and you did not care what kind of service they provided, there is a problem!

A democracy is defined as "rule by the people and for the people." If some of the people fail to participate by not voting and having their voices heard, then they are failing democracy and having leaders get away with anything to stay in power!

President Museveni's victory over tyranny in the 80's is commendable; but after 23 lamentable years in power, Uganda deserves a change!

Some relevant Luganda proverbs:

"Akwatulira, akira akugeya: One who speaks to you openly, is better than one who talks behind your back.
Abasajja ssubi, erimu lisiba linnalyo: L: Men are like grass, some is used to tie the rest. M: Some men can be used to silence, intimidate or subdue their fellow men.
Source: The Wisdom of the Baganda: Amagezi g'Omuganda Amakusike, by The late Joseph Lule

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