Tuesday, January 30, 2007
The 25th good thing about Lagos: They are working at democracy -- but seeing their system makes you appreciate the US election machine.
Nigeria's government has huge problems. It's a country with great resources, but so much is lost to corruption. The money oil brings in isn't being used to help the populace in general or build a workable infrastructure. But they are making attempts. Friday and Monday were holidays within the country to allow the population to register to vote. Our driver said he wasn't going to register on Monday because the lines would be too long. He would do it another time. There was a huge crowd shopping in the grocery store and at the mall yesterday, so many others agreed with him. And he said that though the election is currently scheduled for April, they may need to postpone it till August because the voting machines may not be ready. This election should (and hopefully will) mark the first time a Nigerian government has changed peacefully. But campaigning has already been marked by bombings and assassinations of promising candidates by rivals. Americans may think their election process needs some revamping -- but take a look at Nigeria's -- and the US machine seems to be in pretty good shape. Here there are lots more problems than hanging chads.