Cambridge Analytica and the 2017 Presidential Election in Kenyan

The underhanded involvement of Cambridge Analytica in the 2017 presidential election in Kenya was already common knowledge among high information elites in the country. But the Channel 4 News expose will certainly make the information accessible to a wider set of Kenyans.

That said, I do not expect it to have any significant effect on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legitimacy. His recent rapprochement with Raila Odinga has massively boosted his legitimacy and (for better or worse) refocused Kenyans’ attention away from the electoral injustices and failures that occurred throughout the 2017 election cycle.

I must say that it is disappointing that the Kenyatta campaign outsourced a significant portion of their campaign messaging to a company which clearly has very little knowledge of the Kenyan context.

Such insouciance is signal evidence of Kenyan political elites’ pedestrian approach to tackling the many problems that plague the country.

On the origins of bicameralism in America

Until I644 the legislature [in Massachusetts] was unicameral although the assistants had what was called a ” negative voice ” in spite of the fact that they constituted a minority of the Court. Being better educated and accustomed to leadership they ordinarily monopolised the debates. The irritation which resulted came to a head in I644 following a bitter series of suits between the Goodwife Sherman, a poor widow of Boston, and one Robert Keayne, a merchant of that city, who had killed her sow when it trespassed upon his property. Three times the suit came before the General Court; three times the deputies sided with the widow and the assistants with the merchant. The deputies denied the right of the ” negative voice ” ; the clergy and many of the colonists took sides in the dispute. The upshot was vindication of the ” negative voice ” and separation into two houses of legislation. Such is the origin of the bicameral system in America!

In short, Americans have a pig to thank for forever having two houses of Congress [OK, may be eventually the South would have adopted the UK system with an upper house to protect southern aristocratic interests….]

More on this here.

Peverill Squire confirms this story in his excellent book on the Evolution of American Legislatures (1619-2009)