Globally, the defection and re-defection of politicians only point up the dialectics of political equation and dynamics of electoral calculus.This underscores the wave of ideological particularism or inclination in advanced democracies; but, in Nigeria, it tells so much about the tide of the political elite’s personal economic pursuits, calculating what goes into the stomach with mathematical exactitude. Defection, re- defection is rather the politician personal aggrandizement which is the subjective condition, oft-garbed in over bloated electoral value.
However, for all practical purposes, decamping or re-decamping, secretly or overtly is the contextual after-effect of electioneering campaigns for the upcoming governorship poll in Osun state. And it is aimed at securing quality large support for the political parties and their candidates for the governorship election, saliently competitive and determinable by such factors as partisan strength, campaign issues, campaign budget, incumbency, endorsement and voting patterns. The six cruxes or leverages as in all democracies, are bound to exert enormous bearing on the outgrowth of electioneering campaigns, still trending across Osun even as the state is fully insulated from the compelling swings of the general elections, the presidential and congressional polls, scheduled still distant away.
In Osun, the two front burner All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) bears a strong relationship to what the total votes would be at election but the partisan strength of the respective APC and PDP would yield proportional votes for the governorship candidates of the two political parties. The partisan strength as power broker, with politicians, making continual de- camping and re- camping, is a robust factor in simplifying whatever variations in the Osun governorship votes to be shared among the contending political parties in the outcome of electioneering campaigns afoot statewide. The incumbent, governing APC that has continued to register higher traffic in-flow of defected politicians, in the corollary to its current electioneering campaigns, has substantial dominance in the state electoral space. This fact projects the incumbent political party in the winning stead or track.
It must be said that incumbency is not in every instance associated with the party’s size of campaign budget, going by the 2007 electoral defeat of the then incumbent PDP in Osun. But generally, a political party’s campaign spending is sure to enhance the party’s vote margin. The incumbent upper-hand is dependent on the campaign expenditures, speaking to the impact of ‘money talks’ on electioneering. The proportion of campaign spending unmistakably shows the strength of the political parties in rivalry for votes. The size of the campaign activities and efforts, including publicity and communication as well as campaign workers, captured by the campaign budget remains a compelling determinant of the ultimate relationships of the competing political parties to the share of the governorship votes in the state.
The differential in the spending effects between the Osun APC and PDP in relations to the contemporaneous electioneering campaigns in the state is not as much heavy as the partisan strength of the political party. Meaning, campaign spending is not all inclusive, after all. Additional expenditures by any of the political parties, having already spent incredibly so high, may have different effect on electioneering campaign outcome.
Any farther spending, more crazy than reasonable, will do the political parties in the matchup for Osun votes, little or no good at all. It’s even more a manual of self euthanasia with certitude, for the political parties. The more the political party spends, haphazard, with the costs of other germane independent and dependent campaign variables increased, the fewer the votes to garner on ballot day. One political party in the state that has preliminarily over spent, monotonic, presumably to overcome large electoral hiccups is PDP and the party has practically reached a diminishing return shown by the declining populace at its campaign outings, most recently.
Incumbency, often used by voters in making electoral choices, gives the Osun incumbent APC some advantages. The political resources to amass requisite campaign “chests” at the disposal of the incumbent enable widening the lee-ways to conduct more gainfully expansive and intensive re-election campaign appearances or outings. The advantages of the APC incumbency get increased by its years of social, economic and political developments, considered pro bono publico and not adjudged wastrel or non- performance in the state. All of that makes the incumbent profoundly less vulnerable to electoral defeat, also being helped formidably by its streaming consequential value-added campaigns, intensely quality issues based, asterisking essential records of good achievements in office.
Strictly, by the pivot parameters of partisan strength, campaign issues, campaign budget, incumbency, endorsement, and voting pattern, APC has its head to jut out in the outcome of the next gubernatorial election in the state. While the PDP’s increased campaign spending will crop further deficiency with complications arising from the applied personality characteristics of its governorship candidate to make winning in the election an uphill task.
Specifically, the way the Osun APC, PDP governorship candidate thinks, behaves, his background, cognate experience, problem-solving skill, leadership deft makes the difference that also defines their different corporate campaign structures, the reach and mass appeal for support in the race for the imminent election next month. But the support in reality as predictor of the electioneering campaign outcome will also be determined by the galare of the people of the state who constantly wax a common attributive sign for the preferred incumbent political party, the APC 2-finger victory sign in swift response to the vibrated salvos of party slogans at all endorsements of the incumbent.
The barrage of endorsements is the Osun acknowledgement of the good years of the incumbent APC in governance and administration, seasoned with inexhaustible acumen and commitment in a steadily coordinated patience, according self a place of pride in politics and economy of the state. The incumbent APC will fix the party in a commanding lead at election as the electorate cast their votes, influenced by the galaxy of endorsement groups across the state to which they belong, or the voters will in unison, cooperatively see themselves as consumers who seek the best value for their money. And the endorsement galleries, most likely will get the electorate convinced of how the incumbent’s policies, programme and projects over the years in office, have overwhelmingly influenced the life and living of the people of Osun to situate the incumbent APC ahead in the next governorship election, to be trailed by other political parties.
To say, the incumbent APC in the July 16 contest is in the fore to coast to victory the Osun governorship highest vote margin, ere other competitors, is stating the obvious. And that feat will shoot telling electoral successes in the subsequent state and federal ballots, effectively determining where the electoral pendulum swings.
Olusesi writes via [email protected]