Vote for the Right Reasons
The general sentiment around such candidates is that they are an unnecessary “distraction” since in reality they can never win the elections. In fact, putting it simply even people who believe in their approach, manifesto and plans remain skeptical and keep convincing themselves and others around them, that voting for such candidates will be a waste of their votes. Is it therefore a surprise that such candidates never win?
Let’s imagine that it takes 1,000 people to choose a winner in an election. 120 of the people (12%) already know that they will be voting for Candidates A or B - the usual suspects from the two dominant parties. There is a third candidate C from another lesser known party who has really bright ideas and seems more credible that the other two better known candidates.
If all of the 880 people left keep saying that this candidate is a “DISTRACTION”, and voting for this upstart candidate will be a WASTE of their votes, then this is what will happen: Most of the 880 people will either abstain from voting because they are disgusted by the two front-line candidates; a good number will just end up picking between the “devil” and the “deep-blue sea” as is common in most Nigerian elections and just a few will vote for the lesser known but better candidate.
Voila! It is a self-fulfilling prophecy - the candidate who most people recognise will do a better job doesn’t win the elections. Did any godfathers or thugs threaten violence against anyone? No, our fears and insecurities just got the better of us. If you ask the minority who voted the upstart candidate if they thought they wasted their votes, they will all respond with a resounding NO. Whether your candidate wins or loses, you never really feel like you wasted your vote.
Stop worrying about whether you will waste your vote or not, just vote the candidate who best represents your interests, not the one who the godfathers have endorsed.