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UDUB, UCID, and KULMIYE: Are There Any Differences?

Issue 285
Front Page
Index
Headlines

UNDP Appraises Its Programs And Projects In Somaliland

Berbera Immigration Officials Block ‘Illegal’ Deportation Of Somaliland Citizen To Yemen

Somaliland Representative Visiting The United Nations

Somaliland Regional Games Tournament Begin 23 July 2007

Somaliland Women 'Nagaad' Umbrella Organization Inaugurates Its 10th Anniversary

Non-Governmental Group Accuses Interim Somali Government Of Harassment

At the UN, Somalia's Gedi Asks for $32 Million, Denies Restricting Opponents' Travel

'It is always necessary to make the N.R.C. political,' says a Somali scholar

Stability in Somalia 'a dream'

Somali elders search for peace

Regional Affairs

Somaliland’s Communiqué To African Leaders’ Summit In Accra

Somaliland Bans Use Of New Somali Passport

Editorial
Special Report

International News

World shrinks for US diplomats

Torn Between Two Cultures

US is about to pull out of Somalia again- a mistake

Minister in Sarkozy's Government: Bush might be behind 9/11 Attacks

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Gorbachev At The “Global Citizen Project” Exhibition

Somaliland in Accra, Ghana, on the Occasion of the African Union Summit 27 June to 3 July 2007

Somaliland: Africa’s Best Kept Secret

Harnessing Community Power In Somaliland

Blinders On Borders

Martin Meridith’s The State Of Africa: A History Of Fifty Years Of Independence

Crackdown in Ethiopia condemned

Food for thought

Opinions

An Invitation To The Mayor Of Hargeysa To A Dialogue On Freedom Of The Press

SL document archives

Sack The Somaliland Leaders

UDUB, UCID, and KULMIYE: Are There Any Differences?

Democracy Requires An Informed Citizenry

The Mayor Of Hargeysa—The New Mohammed Dheere Of Somaliland

 

By Abdi A Jama, University Of Minnesota

In June 30, 2007, I attended a meeting convened by Somaliland Community in Minnesota where Dr. Ahmed Hussein Isse, shadow Foreign Minister of KULMIYE Party, was the speaker of the eve.

As anticipated, he bashed and censured mercilessly, for the most part, the current government’s modus operandi; that is, the ways in which the ruling party—UDUB—has failed to generate efficient and thriving government. To spare a time for the reader, Dr. Isse concluded his speech, vehemently, that in order for Somaliland to attain its full political, economical and social potential, a modification should be made. Unequivocally, he goes on to proclaim that in order to realize our full potential, people should vote for KULMIYE because, he proceeded, it is the best suited party to govern Somaliland. “KULMIYE,” he announced, “is better than UDUB as well as UCID.”

At the question time, however, I had the opportunity to ask him; Are there any differences, ideologically, between your party and other two parties? In other words, why should I vote for KULMIYE? “There are no differences between the parties,” he stated. “But you ought to observe,” he added, “and compare the parties’ leaders. Since KULMIYE is the one kaadidiisa usoo cabay (struggled for liberation) Somaliland, we are the best.” I, personally, doubt whether Dr. Isse is well-versed the purpose of political parties.

Either he lacks the basic comprehension of the framework of political parties or he was attempting to delude his audience. In either case, however, based on Dr. Isse’s assertion, one might raise the question; should we measure and discern the differences between political parties by observing their leaders and, thus, elect who kaadida usoo cabay Somaliland? Or should we measure them by examining their ideological differences, if any; that is to say, their political, economical, and social approaches?

Before I offer an answer, let me scrutinize the purpose of, or why do we need, political parties. As a side note, I am not attempting to assail neither Dr. Isse nor KULMIYE Party for I do not belong to any party.

In general, it is the nature of men to posses a profound opposing interest and opinions and, most importantly, to dispute the way in which a government ought to function. As a result of this, it is inevitable for men to organize and adhere to their likeminded in order to influence, promote, protect, and attain their economical and political interests, collectively. Individually, it is almost impossible for one to thrive efficiently or to survive without integrating with his/her likeminded. Therefore, it is imperative for one to join a party or organization which promotes his/her interests. This is where political parties become handy. A political party, therefore, is “a body of men,” Edmund Burke—a British politician and political philosopher—contends, “united for promoting by their joint endeavors the national interest, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed.” Based on this elucidation, in order for one to join a political party, one ought to recognize and appreciate the party’s principles and what do they stand for. If any given party fails to provide a recurrent schema for the people, there won’t be any incentive for one to join and, as a result, the party is doomed to fail.

To demonstrate further, in America, for instance, the two major parties, Democrats and Republicans, differ tremendously with their economical, social, political and religious philosophy. Both parties provide for the voter two distinct alternatives for a single issue. Therefore, the alternative, in part, attracts or negates the voter. For instance, Democrats are in favor of big government and endorse government programs convinced that government can solve social problems whereas the Republicans are in favor for small government and discard government programs considering that the market would take care of social problems. Therefore, anyone who benefits from government programs would most likely vote for democrats and vise versa. The person is not concerning, for the most part, the leaders of the party, as Dr. Isse erroneously attempted to convey. Rather, the individual is convinced that s/he shares with same ideology with that particular party and if elected s/he would be the beneficiary. As a result, the person realizes its imperative for him/her to vote his/her favorite party’s candidate. Behold, a voter desires a way to discern between candidates and party labels (their ideologies) present a functional shorthand cue that keeps voting decisions simple and efficient.

Nevertheless, disarray, incompetence, and confusion emerge when parties are parallel with regard to their philosophy. Since UDUB, UCID, and KULMIYE hold identical ideologies and, thus, exercise equivalent approaches, the single means through which a voter casts his vote is to “observe their leaders,” which is a euphemism of, “observe their tribal identities.” This is not only confuses the voter but also challenges the parties to attract prospective voters and set their political agendas which discerns between them. Furthermore, it is the very dilemma that our political parties as well as our citizens are suffering. It is palpable to the reader, as Dr. Isse proclaimed, that UDUB, UCID and KULMIYE have failed, miserably, to provide for the voter at least three distinct alternatives for a single issue. Some argue, however, that it is not the right time to assess our embryonic political parties because our parties, they contend, require time to gradually cultivate and prosper. Though this argument has its own merits, it fails to account that constant and constructed criticism itself nurtures our political parties as well as our government.

jamax036@umn.edu

 


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