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A template for writing about African elections

I just came across Sean Jacobs’ interesting blog, “Africa is a country,” which directed me to this  piece about how predictable African elections, and their failings, have become. Reads like a “mad lib” story — in this case, humorous and clever because it rings sadly true…

“….Nothing underscores the apathy and inconsistency that characterize Western diplomacy in _____ more than the current impasse…The legitimacy crisis threatens to trigger another round of civil war in a country that has already __________ (short-phrase recap of how many people died there in recent memory, thereby justifying interest).”

“The ____________[major INGO] cited serious irregularities, including the loss of _____ (electoral documents) in _______ (city/town/village), a _____ stronghold….. Meanwhile, according to ________ (INGO) multiple locations in _______ (another city/town/village), a bastion of __________ (current ruler) supporters, reported impossibly high rates of 99 to [over] 100 percent voter turnout, with all or nearly all votes going to the incumbent.” (Note: Some wisely fix this slightly lower than 99 percent; adjust as needed.)

“….As grievances and disputes over electoral law arose, the CENI [independent electoral commission] failed to provide an adequate forum for dialogue with the opposition.” (Sorry, players, that one goes verbatim in every election post-game.)

 

About Evan Lieberman

I am a Professor of Political Science at MIT, and I conduct research, write, and teach about development, ethnic politics, and research methods.

Discussion

One thought on “A template for writing about African elections

  1. Thanks for the link! Such a funny look at otherwise sad realities [of journalism].

    Posted by Carolyn Yohn | December 19, 2011, 10:18 am

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