Tuesday, February 21, 2012

one candidate election

why bother with a one candidate election?

i understand why despotic regimes hold elections to create the pretense of democracy. but any self-respecting sham election requires at least one sham opposition candidate. (turkmenistan's election last week, for example, had six pretend challengers to the incumbent president).

but when you don't even have the illusion of choice on the ballot, what's the point in pretending there's an election? elections aren't cheap, they're a pain in the ass to run, and it gives the opposition (the real opposition) the opportunity to make political hay by holding boycotts or airing allegations of fraud. why couldn't the real powers that be in yemen just announce that vice president hadi would become president? they could have spun it as a temporary or "transitional" appointment, with real multiparty elections vaguely promised for some hazy future. if they wanted to install the guy in power, why not do it that way?