The Gambia does not have any pollster who would give accurate projects of the state of mind of the voters. This is a disadvantage because the role is assumed by rumour mongers who are influenced by their own prejudices and biasness in favour of one political party or personality of one form or the other.

The more one listens to comments from even educated Gambians the more one wonders how committed they are to democratic values. It is not uncommon to hear that the ruling party or this or that opposition party has the majority.

Before the 2012 election Abdoulaye Wade and the PDS ruled Senegal. However after the election Macky Sal took over and PDS went into the opposition. What relevance would it have been to claim that the PDS and Abdoulaye Wade had the majority just before the election.

Hence what is relevant in determining the prospect of a political party in an election is to conduct polls before the election. Results of previous elections may be relevant for analytical purposes but may not necessarily be relevant in determining the prospects of a party in the next following election.

Hence under a democratic society the majority comes at the polls. Soon after the polls parties may stand to lose or gain support which only new polls would be able to determine. The only accurate indicator to determine whether a party is heading for victory or defeat in the next election is results from polls conducted by genuine and professional pollsters. If Gambians are to succeed in avoiding voter apathy they should stop making predictions unless they conduct investigation to know the true state of mind of The Gambian people.

People should support the parties of their choice and respect choices made by others. They should promote parties of their choice and try to win support from others by explaining clearly what their parties aim to do. They should promote alliances wherever possible and tolerate differences where it cannot be prevented. This is the dictate of democracy.


Join The Conversation