Commodification of elections

The future of elections in Zimbabwe

Obert Hodzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The economic voting theory and the responsibility hypothesis posit that voters hold the government accountable for economic performance and will vote for the incumbent if the economy is good. The core assumption is that there is an incumbent and an opposition contesting in an election. But, this is not always the case. In elections following a transitional power sharing government, the schism between the incumbent and the opposition is generally blurred. Political parties that usually contest in the elections would have been part of the transitional power-sharing government. In such cases, voters are not able to apportion responsibility, and political parties compete to claim credit and assign blame. This increases the propensity for election commodification. Applying this proposition to Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections, this paper contends that commodification of elections increases in polls following a transitional power sharing government when political parties contesting in the elections were part of the transitional power sharing government, making it difficult for voters to determine responsibility for policy, and leading to intense competition among political parties to claim credit and apportion blame for the performance of the transitional power-sharing government.
Original languageEnglish
JournalModern Africa: Politics, History, and Society
Volume2
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)31-51
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Cite this

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Commodification of elections : The future of elections in Zimbabwe. / Hodzi, Obert.

In: Modern Africa: Politics, History, and Society, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2014, p. 31-51.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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