Elections for the Kuwait Parliament are scheduled in a month’s time. The candidates are out in full force. Even though they have been allowed only two campaign headquarters, they are busy renting tents, organizing their campaigns, ordering sumptuous buffets and advertising any which way they can to capture the confused voters. The serious candidate needs to invest between one to two million Kuwaiti Dinars if he is to have a significant presence in the election. Kuwaiti voters are allowed four votes for the four parliament members they want in their respective district.
There is also an underworld of vote buying from some morally challenged candidates. These candidates have perfected vote buying from the voters into an art form. A vote at today’s price is one thousand Kuwait Dinars.
You are approached by the candidate’s representatives and paid KD 1,000 for your vote. Some business minded candidates will also buy your remaining three votes which the candidate will use to barter for additional votes from other candidates. Some nascent entrepreneurs are also buying votes in bulk and approaching different candidates with these collected votes selling them to the highest bidder.
A lot of intellectuals might think of this as a problem and will result in candidates going to parliament on the strength of their wallets rather than their beliefs. I see this as an opportunity.
Vote buying should be legalized and taxed with the shiny silver sticker stamps that the government loves to use in all the government transactions. Voters will receive around four thousand KD to vote for the different candidates who paid them, helping alleviate their debt and salary problems that they have been crying about for so long. The government can charge 200 KD per vote and get some income also.
Once the Members of Parliament are elected and life is back to normal, it will be business as usual, passing laws and grillings for the ministers as soon as one MP disagrees with one of the Ministers. The government, to avoid embarrassment can dissolve parliament and have elections all over again.
There will again be more vote buying, more money for the people, more income for the government, more side business like tent rentals, advertising and restaurants. Everybody is happy. Once again, parliament is in session and ministers will be called for questioning. Once again parliament will be dissolved. In one year we could have five elections and five different parliaments. The Kuwaiti voters will end up making around an average of twenty thousand KD.
At the end of this fun election year most of the corrupt candidates would have gone broke after spending over 10 Million KD for five consecutive elections. The candidates who will survive are the ones who got votes on their vision and convictions for Kuwait. The voters would have made money and we will end up with a clean serious work oriented parliament.
Everyone is a winner.