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When democracy’s custodians go to the polls

Silly Americans. They want to be seen as the last custodians of democracy. Here is a country that has turned scandals into pop-culture fashion. Talk…

Silly Americans. They want to be seen as the last custodians of democracy. Here is a country that has turned scandals into pop-culture fashion. Talk about anything that makes the rest of the world cringe and you will find the American establishment backing its propagation. It is all done to advance the frontiers of democracy.

Besides its garland of social scandals, America wouldn’t think twice before plunging the rest of the world into a war to extend this frontier. After all, isn’t America the greatest superpower on planet earth, except you believe the drivel spewed by Jeff Daniels in Aaron Sorkin’s drama, “The Newsroom” 11 years ago in June 2012.

America initiates war in other countries with dodgy dossier by gathering a coalition of the cajoled. It is, therefore, perhaps not mere coincidence that at a moment when global attention ought to be on one of its best allies, the Britain that used to be addressed as Great but America had to steal the spotlight. With British elections on the horizon, America had to organise its own distraction in the form of a debate, featuring its two gerontocrats – Joe Biden and Donald J. Trump.

When the time came for the duo to prove their eligibility for the occupancy of the White House, the debate became a test for the elasticity of partial dementia versus the pliancy of barefaced lies. By the time the browbeating was over, America’s almighty media concluded with its global peers that the liar had won the day.

It was a laugh-out-loud or shed-your-tears for Washington by two people who, judged by America’s global standards, ought to be cheerleaders of younger candidates on the gladiator’s arena. Global democracy students lined up behind virtual curtains watching the teachers teaching them nonsense, apology to Fela Anikulapo Kuti. At the proper time, the semi-literate American voter would be asked to make a choice between the devil and Lucifer. It should be an easy pick.

This week, all eyes are on Britain as the first ever Brit-Indian Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plunges his Conservative Party headlong into an election that all bookmakers predict would end the party’s uninterrupted 14-year dominance of British national politics. Come to think of it, Mr Sunak, like Biden, has turned the British inflation around, settling it at the Bank of England’s target of two per cent.

This must be a miracle to any Nigerian who has watched inflation escape from its infantile handlers, like a light balloon flying skywards unwary of the ultimate power of the sun’s rays on its veneer. At two per cent, Britain could have been the poster boy of other European markets, except that it pulled out and lost their interest.

So, the Brits go to the polls Thursday and Sunak must have plans for the £115k Public Duty Costs Allowance that all former occupants of No.10 Downing Street are entitled. Those who know his wife say they won’t be needing the money, but they will take it, nonetheless.

India must be laughing, in spite of not faring better with Narendra Modi at its coalition best. The old Great Britain conquered and ruined India, one year shy of nine decades, and now, one half of a shon-of-the-shoil is about to bury the 14-year unbroken legacy of its Conservative Party.

Pollsters have asked Keir Starmer to lace his boots and get ready to Occupy Downing Street. They predict that if he plays his cards right, he might beat the legacy of the party of his outgoing predecessor. In fact, he could stay as long as Britain proudly follows its monarchs – 25 years. A bit of exaggeration there, like all British hopes and dreams of returning to the glorious days of the empire.

As every ambidextrous proves, in politics, the left is as good or bad as the right when it comes to navigating the murky streams of governance. Here is an advance prayer that the leaders of Labour would not have laboured in vain come Thursday night. This is because the tolerance level of a people disillusioned is thinner than a balloon flying in space. Those in doubt should ask Agbado enthusiasts or quondam followers of Kenya’s William Ruto.

Will Starmer steer the ship of change with applause or would he from pure anxiety ram it further into the iceberg of despair and despondency? We would know that by the end of the week.

Not to be outsmarted, Britain’s next-door neighbour, France, rushed to prorogue parliament and call for snap parliamentary polls, paving the way for the heirs and adherents of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s far-right extremist parties a chance at forming government for the first time since the second World War.

There are those who see this as a clear and present danger, noting that the Gaullists, like leeches, were not built to survive outside the benevolence of colonies vastly shaking off the yokes of colonialism. Macron dismisses such suggestions as balderdash. Like Britain’s empire dreamers, America’s MAGA enthusiasts, Le Penists, want the re-establishment of France for the French. This is an impossible task for a colonial power that sold itself on its assimilation policy. However, they have vowed to try.

Canada’s general elections are set for 2025, but there are signs that Canadians, like Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire, would sign a decree nisi with the leadership of the Liberal Party.

An election two weeks ago in the riding of Toronto-St. Paul’s gave an inkling where Canadians are heading. They gave a 38-year seat to the Liberal’s closest rivals, the Progressive Conservatives. Bookmakers swear it is an indication of where Canada would stamp its thumb at next year’s polls.

Just like in America after the debate between Biden and Trump led to calls for the Democratic Party to replace Joe Biden, Liberal renegades have asked Trudeau to throw in the towel. But the handsome 52-year-old subscribes to the Le Pen principle that it is not over until it is over. He still thinks he could rally the nation to, at worst, another coalition government if it wouldn’t repeat the kind of landslide that painted Canadian ridings in red in 2015. Observers call this pure wishful thinking.

By the time Britain has swept Sunak into the archives of history and Biden and Trump have tested the waters, Canada would be ready to welcome a new leader. Bookmakers swear it would be the swash-buckling 45-year-old young Turk – Pierre Poilievre. He leads the Progressive Conservatives.

How all these pans out for the good of a world on the brinks remains mere conjecture. No thanks to the NATO-propelled proxy war in Ukraine that threatens the global political, or some say the propensity of a nuclear war – the hydra-headed internecine war between the Israelis and its Arab neighbours that could snowball into a global war of unpredictable outcome. Nor would these predictable outlines change the trajectory of the forgotten war in Sudan that has entered its second year, claimed the lives of nearly 15,000 and displaced over two million people; then the brewing crisis in the Congo, with Britain’s newest bride, Rwanda openly meddling in another country’s internal skirmish.

For now, these unfolding shenanigans have shielded events in Kenya, where the mob won the battle against Ruto but is losing the war in street kidnaps and abductions.

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