Politics – why join the party?



The elections of 2013 are looming.  Most of us are armchair politicians, judging and commenting on politics from our seats, or behind our phones or computers.  But we are not convicted that we actually need to join the political scene.  Most people think that politics is a dirty, messy game and they don’t want to get involved.  It’s more fun in Kenya to watch the comedy that is political parties from the safety of a distance, lest we get tainted.

It is a fact that many people will support their presidential candidates with fanatism yet they do not join the candidate’s political party.  In the Nyayo era you could only be a member of one political party, which was KANU.  You had no choice.  But now people have choice yet they cannot be bothered to take up their democratic right.  They take this privilege for granted.


I have been an armchair political analyst myself.  The only time I have gotten involved in party business was when I was a presidential agent for NARC when Kibaki was running for presidency in 2002.  Last week I decided that I should join a political party.  It is no secret that I support Peter Kenneth so I joined Kenya National Congress.  It was very simple really to join.  I just went to the website and registered.  It took about ten minutes to register.  Whichever candidate you support, in whatever party you belong it’s important to become part of the political process.

Some reasons is that

  1. It makes you involved in your party – as in you’re plugged in to what’s happening and you can contribute to its policies, decisions etc.
  2.  It allows people to express an agenda/opinion regarding the direction of the party.
  3. It allows people to examine political candidates up close and personal instead of behind a TV screen or newspaper page.  Many times politicians, (just like the rest of us) show us their good side in public.  But dealing with them by being in a political party and attending party meetings helps us see the real person.  Think Ides of March movie.

Political parties are organizations of like-minded individuals who seek to gain the power to govern.

Joining a party entitles you to certain benefits, including voting for the leader of your party and taking part in decision-making at a local level.  You will be able to attend events such as the party conference and local functions, possibly meeting MPs and prominent politicians.

In the article the impact of politics on everyday life Khaldah Mohamed Khaled (June 4 2012) said

“It is an unfortunate common view that politics is unrelated to everyday life.  It is related to politicians, legal and official business that the average person knows nothing about, and should not bother with.  It’s an unfortunate view because politics is about life.  Governments make decisions that affect our everyday life.  We all know this, of course.  But to what extent do we actually practice it?  For a nation to move forward, its people must take their future into their own hands.  A nation is a people, an entity, a concept; all of which are about more than a ‘country’ as defined politically, but about us and our lives.  To be a patriot is to love yourself and where you came from.  And to be politically conscious is to care about your life.  When we see politics as something distant, we forget how personal it really is.

When one lives life aware of the importance of politics, aware that every decision has an impact on an entire population, aware that your individual behavior is not the result of just you and those immediately around you, but it is also a result of governance, one can acknowledge why it’s worth fighting for.  Once we realize that a better government is not one that would just have the banner of ‘democratically elected’, improve infrastructure here and there and resolve our economic woes, but one that will actively contribute to our everyday life for the better, then maybe we’ll decide that that is something worth fighting for.  Because we should be able to democratically elect how we live our lives.”

Enough said.  The above is the reason we should be involved in politics and a political party even if we are not running for political positions.

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Managing editor and blogger at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories. Find me at [email protected]