Are the electorate stupid?
This question is usuaully asked, mostly after an election with an unexpected outcome.
Most politicians tell the electorate what they (the politicians) think (the electorate) want to hear, in the hope that the message will resonate with majority of the electorate to vote the politician into office.
Even when it is obvious the politician is lying, promising what they cannot deliver, misrepresenting themselves, and deliberately misinforming the electorate. Focusing on sound bites, short, sharp and eye-catching messages. Including divisive party slogan, rhetoric or focusing their entire campaign criticizing their opponent.
Providing little or no information of how their win will better the life of their electorate or constituent.
Sometimes these politician still gets voted in.
The reason they get voted in becomes a big question? This is assuming it is not a rigged election.
They never provided any truthful information on how to better the life of their electorate
Their promises are not achievable
Why did the electorate voted for them?
What do the electorate based their vote on?
Family background etc
Lack of information?
In America, there is a phrase “Low information voters”
Low information voters, also known as LIVs or misinformation voters, are people who may vote, but who are generally poorly informed about politics. If the percentage of LIV Electorate in any election are massive.
Most times the outcome of such an election is difficult to predict. You cant tell what information they will based their vote on.
If a politician throws out garbage information about tax improvement policy. An electorate with no knowledge of how tax system works, might believe the politician.
In many cases, electorates can verify some of the misinformation. But they usually choose not to or ignore the truth when it is pointed out to them due to laziness or have made up their mind due to ethnic or religious or other reasons.
Many Politicians are fully clued on how to manipulate the electorate to vote against their interest.
It seems most electorate suddenly become aware of the facts after the election.
Suddenly, that is when the media starts debating the facts after election results are announced.
Nigeria and Africa in general are hugely tribal/ethnic and fiercely loyal to a party.
The APC and the PDP supporters daily slug it out on facebook. Each defending their party fiercely even when it is obvious their party is wrong on an issue.
Both supporters result to lies, misinformation, disinformation, insults, deliberate and falsification of facts to support their party and paymaster.
Doing the nation and unborn generation a huge disservice. Not supporting or voting based on the facts/ interest of the country but on party loyalty.
Niger delta supports Jonathan because he is from their region, in similar vein. Yoruba supports the western politician and Northerners supports Buhari.
Politicians are aware of this and always exploit this shortcoming in the voting public. Electorates voting against their interest.
This is evident in Kenya, the massive ethnic violence in 2012-2013. Was reported to be engineered by politicians. At the end of the day, most politicians keep the richness of the govt to themselves, family and core circle. The electorate are left arguing and fighting themselves.
Take the recent Brexit vote in UK, the leave politicians where not ask critical questions. The campaign were based on sound bites, slogans and half truth. Dodging the facts. Many leave voters voted based on emotion, not understanding the full facts and consequences.
As usual, after the election result was announce. The media starts discussing the hard facts, when it was too late.
Donald Trump the presumptive nominee of the GOP –Republican party. In one sentence, says lots of contradictory facts. But is supporters hear only what they wish to hear.
Are the electorate stupid or irrational?
When voters are happy to debate passionately the intricacies of the off-side rule in football or the plot of a movie or soaps, computer games, business, read book etc. But pay little attention to the core issue of politics. Politicians will continue to exploit this to craft messages, slogan, based on tribal/ethnic lines, party rhetoric, divisive campaign, deliberately omitting the fact from their messages.
At the end of day, the main issues are sideline during campaign. Only after the winner is announced, the media and strangely enough many electorate starts discussing the key issue. By then it is too late.