POLITICAL LANDSCAPE

EDITORIAL: Kenya requires larger parties, not tiny ones

In Summary

• The once dominant Jubilee Party is now falling to pieces while the One Kenya alliance has not even got off the ground

• Kenya needs larger parties divided along ideological lines, not tiny regional parties fashioning alliances based on ethnic arithmetic

Regional political parties
Regional political parties
Image: STAR ILLUSTRATED

Once again Kenya's political landscape is disintegrating into smaller and smaller fragments. With the exception of Kanu, this has been the history of Kenya since independence.

Large long-lived parties provide political continuity. In the best case, they divide along ideological lines, typically between conservatives and liberals. Where there are only small parties with few ideological differences, then, like Israel, a country stumbles from one weak government to the next.

The Jubilee Alliance was founded in 2013 and the party in 2016. The promise was that it would become a permanent part of the Kenyan landscape. Now it is fragmenting.

The One Kenya alliance has not even got off the ground. Raila and Kalonzo optimistically want to resurrect the defunct Nasa.

DP William Ruto has been gathering 'hustlers' into a new alliance. Although highly personalised, it at least appeals to supporters  across Kenya.

What would be good was if Jubilee could morph into a capitalist party and Tangatanga could morph into a progressive party. Then there would be two large parties separated by ideology and not by ethnicity. In the long run, that could create greater political continuity and greater stability.

Quote of the day: "Why did the Soviet Union disintegrate? Why did the Soviet Communist Party collapse? An important reason was that their ideals and beliefs had been shaken."

Xi Jinping
The Chinese President was born on June 15, 1953