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Contextual and Institutional Factors in Voter Turnout in General Elections

Throughout the world there are numerous forms of government, with democracy being the preferred choice of governing among many nations. In the modern day Presidential democracy, there have been low numbers of voters turning out for the various elections since the 1960's. This trend is not isolated to the certain countries that are known for their Presidential democracies such as: Nigeria. Instead, it is occurring throughout various Presidential democracies around the globe. Part of the reason for this; are the three common drawbacks of the Presidential system to include: a trend to consolidate power under the executive branch, it creates gridlock, reduces accountability and it is difficult to remove unsuitable leaders from office before their term has expired. (Nelson 2008) When you look below the surface, it is clear, that the above mentioned factors do play a role in determining why voter turn out has been declining. Yet, each country that is seeing similar trends is affected by a number of different factors that have been influencing the overall amounts of voter turnout. To fully understand the why this is occurring; requires that you examine both the environmental and institutional factors within each country. This will tell you how contextual and institutional factors have been influencing voter turn out in the different Presidential democracies around the globe. It is through understanding the issue in this light; that will provide the greatest insights to political scientists as to how this trend can be reversed.

Social and Institutional Factors that Influence Voter Turn Out

When you look at the overall structure of the Presidential democracy, it is obvious that its structure is one of the reasons why so many voters are not turning out. The way the Presidential system works, is there is a separation of power between the executive branch (President) and the legislature. This separation of power is where the different problems are created to include: a tendency to consolidate power under the executive branch. To be elected the President requires that the winner wins the majority of either the popular or electoral vote. This system works under the premise of winner takes all; which often forces the minority to feel as if they do not have any voice in matters concerning government. At which point, these people will begin to feel disillusioned with the entire political process and will stop participating. The way that this leads towards a consolidation of power, is the winning political party will take the assumption that they have a mandate for their actions. This has been known to cause the executive branch to ignore or to be slow to respond to the legislature, much less their critics. Together, these different characteristics help to cause ordinary citizens to feel as if they do not have a voice in the matters concerning the government. (Nelson 2008)

A second problem with the Presidential democracy is that it creates grid lock, which reduces accountability. What happens is, during the course of governing the executive and the legislative branches will have to make agreements with each other, in order to pass laws as well as effectively govern. At times, when the executive branch and the legislature do not see eye to eye; there could be a situation where nothing is accomplished as no one branch of the government has more control over the other, gridlock. When something goes wrong, it is easy for the executive branch to blame the legislature, and the legislature to blame each other. This creates a lack of accountability as it is everyone's fault, but no one is there to take the blame or fix the problem. (Nelson 2008)

A third problem with the Presidential democracy is: it is difficult to remove unpopular leaders from the executive branch. In a Presidential democracy, to remove the President requires that they are impeached. This means that a trial must take place and evidence is presented to remove them from office. However, there could be times that a President is elected and their policies are unpopular with the majority of citizens. Since, the standard for removing them is to prove that they have broken the law; means that even if a President is unpopular, they can serve until the end of their term. This is because they have not broken any laws, instead their policies and the direction that they are taking the country is in the minority, which is not an impeachable offense. As result, there have been military coups and uprisings that have taken place during the time that an unpopular President is in office, until their term ends. (Nelson 2008)

While there are a number of institutional factors that affect voter turnout, there are general factors within the society that would affect voter turnout, to include: education and economic status. Various studies conducted by political scientist over the years; show that the overall voter turnout rate will depend on education levels and economic status. This is because those people who have higher amounts of education are more informed about the issues and they have higher incomes. These two factors influence if someone will vote in a general election; because these people have more of a belief that their vote will count towards influencing public policy. [1]

A second cultural factor that effects voter turn out is: time zones. In some Presidential democracies there are significant differences in time zones. This means that in one part of the country the polls have closed and the results are coming in. During the more lopsided elections, those voters in the later time zones may not vote, out of the belief that there is no point because the election is over. This frustration can build, where some people will not see the point in voting at all; because the general elections was already decided by the people in the earlier time zones. [2]

A third cultural factor that could effect voter turn out is: the experience of the individual. In many cases the reason why someone will vote, is based upon the experiences that they have had within society. Where, the ethnic group / nationality will play a role; along with their overall ideas of trust in the government, their interest in politics and the overall effectiveness of the current political system. These different positive or negative factors were shaped based upon the overall experiences that people have had and will determine if someone is motivated to vote. During an election, those individuals who feel as if their voice is not being heard will often avoid going to the polls.[3]

Nigeria

To fully understand the reasons behind the overall levels of voter disenfranchisement requires that you look at the factors that are surrounding the political systems of the different Presidential democracies. This will highlight the various issues that are affecting not only the democracy itself, but its underlying strength. The first such country that can highlight the various issues that are affecting voter disenfranchisement in the Presidential democracy is: Nigeria. This is because the country has flirted with democracy since independence. What happened was; Nigeria was a colony of Great Britain until it gained independence in 1960. Then, the country would flirt between a Presidential democracy and a military dictatorship. (Maier 2002) This was because the various governments since that time have been known for corruption. When you have high level of corruption, this means that a reverse form of economic aid is occurring, as the funds that were intended to help the people are diverted to bank accounts of different government officials. Over the course of time, this causes the many people to lose faith in the political system. A good example as to how perverse the overall levels of corruption have become can be seen with comments recently from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who said, "The corruption is unbelievable. When I did a town hall (meeting in August 2009) in Abuja, people were just literally standing and shouting about what it was like to live in a country where the elite was so dominant, where corruption was so rampant, where criminality was so pervasive. The failure of the Nigerian leadership over many years to respond to the legitimate needs of their own young people, to have a government that promoted a meritocracy, that really understood that democracy can't just be given lip service, it has to be delivering services to the people, has meant there is a lot of alienation in that country and others." (Chironda 2010). What this shows; is that the overall levels of corruption have become so severe that people feel that no matter who is in power, nothing is going to change. Once this takes place, it means that before long until voter turnout begins to decline. This is because the overall amounts of corruption have become so engrained, that it has managed to affect the outcomes of elections. As the party that is in power uses vote buying, ballot stuffing and political intimidation; to achieve personal ambitions. (Bratton 2008) This has caused many of youth in the rural poor areas of the country to feel that the political process has largely forgotten them. At which point, violence has become increasingly common as the majority of people are frustrated by the unresponsiveness of the political system. Once this violence begins to take place, is when you will see the early stage of open revolts against the government as more people are becoming radicalized. This is exactly what is happening in the various rural, Muslim dominated regions. (Pflanz 2007)

Another issue that is affecting voter turn out is the disqualification of opposition candidates from the election. (Maier 2002) In the case of Nigeria, because the overall political party in charge has so much power, means that they can exert in influence in a number of different areas, including the courts. This is important, because when the opposition has a viable candidate who is a threat, the party in power can use legal means to have them disqualified from the election. This only fuels anger with the general public about the overall ineffectiveness of the political process. At which point, the opposition will more than likely begin making claims that the election is rigged and will boycott. Once this takes place, this means that the overall levels of voter turn out will fall more dramatically, as the only candidates who can win the election are in the ruling party. (Maier 2002) A good example of this occurred in the Nigerian State of Zamfara, where the All Nigerian Peoples Party called for a boycott of local elections after several key candidates were disqualified. Then when you consider the fact that the more political representation that a particular state has the more influence and wealth it will see; highlights the overall amounts of frustration. In the case of Zamfara, their overall number of representatives is far lower than that of the Kano. This is because Kano, has more resources and there is far more economic activity in this area, in comparison with other parts of the country. (Olori 2004) This adds to the overall view that the Nigerian government is selling out to big financial interests; by not providing these different regions with an equal voice in political affairs.

A third reason for the low voter turn out in Nigeria is: continuing violence. Nigeria is very diverse country, with over 250 different ethnic groups that speak 510 languages. This is important because during the years of colonialism, the British would rule Nigeria in a loosely based confederation. Where, they would exercise direct control in the more populous regions of the country such as: the South. Then, they would allow the Northern regions of the country to have local autonomy, while having loyalty to Britain. (Maier 2002) After, independence the different government officials decided to follow similar model that the British used; the only problem was that this would create power struggles in ethnic areas of the country. Combine this with the overall sense of entitlement that occurred with holding political offices, because of the corruption, meant that the competition would be fierce for who run particular areas of the country. These different ethnic clashes meant that the overall level of violence would be so high that elections would be unable to occur in certain areas of the country. A good example of this took place, in certain parts of the country where elections were canceled as political violence between the different ethnic groups was extreme. (Olori 2004)

However, the violence in Nigeria is not just limited to the ethnic areas; instead it encompasses all aspects of the political spectrum. (Maier 2002) What is taking place in this situation is the political party in power has found that when they engage in violence, they can scare the opposition supporters away from the polls. An example of the overall severity of the problem occurred when Human Rights Watch said, "Political candidates and their supporters are not hesitating to use violence to secure votes, because last year's (general) elections taught them that they could get away with it." (Olori 2004)What this shows, is how the overall amounts of violence are fueling voter disenfranchisement, as many question as to why should they attempt to vote when they are going to encounter violence.

A forth reason for the overall levels of low voter turn out in Nigeria, is the structure of the political system itself. In the case of Nigeria, the Presidential political system allows for corruption to occur because the standards for removing someone from power can be challenging. (Maier 2002) This is because under the Presidential system, there must be overwhelming evidence showing high levels of corruption within the President's office. (Rose 1994) The problem is; that when the executive branch is so dominant in Nigeria that it can influence other areas of the government. At which point, finding evidence that a wrong doing occurred and then successfully perusing it can be very challenging. This means, that those corrupt individuals will remain in power until the end of their term or the next election. However, when you have a situation where the ruling party will use whatever means is necessary to stay in power, means that voters will often become frustrated and disenfranchised. In the case of Nigeria, this disenfranchisement has led to military coups, with the intention of addressing the obvious short comings of the Presidential system. (Maier 2002)

When you examine the different issues surrounding voter disenfranchisement in Nigeria; it is clear that the reason why so many stay away from the polls is because of corruption, violence and the political system itself. Together these different elements cause many people in the country to believe that no matter who is in charge the same thing will occur anyway. This leads to frustration that affects the overall political stability of the country, as more people become radicalized by the unresponsiveness of the government. It is at this point, that you will begin to see violent uprisings against government interests such as: the violence that has occurred over the last few years in various ethnic and rural regions of the country.

United States

When you look at the different Presidential democracies, it clear that the overall levels of voter disenfranchisement is continuing to remain high. One country where there has been a consistent decline in voter turn out since the 1960's is the United States. This is despite the fact that education levels and the overall standard of living are higher than that of Nigeria. Yet, when you look beneath the surface, there are signs that like Nigeria the United States has its own unique set of factors that is affecting voter turn out to include: negative campaigning. When someone is running for public office in America, the stakes are often very high. This means that during the course of running for office the overall costs are enormous, especially when you consider the costs associated with advertising alone. As a result, the overall stakes are higher because if you do not win the election, then the fundraising and the time that was put into the campaign was for nothing. Combine this with the fact that there could be political offices that have large amounts of power such as: the President; means that the overall amounts of campaign rhetoric directed at their opponent will consistently become more negative. Over the course of time, the negative campaigning cause people to lose faith in the political process, as they see that no candidates have any solutions to the different problems. At which point, they will begin not participating in the elections, out of frustration that none of the politicians are addressing their concerns. Instead, they are more interested in throwing mud at each other, in order to win at any cost. According to a study conducted by Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia, they found that since 1976 the overall amounts of political campaigning has become more negative, than at any other point in American history. This rise in negative campaigning, can be tied directly the sharp decline that has been seen during the same time. (Samples 2008)

A second reason why there are high levels of voter disenfranchisement in the United States is because of: special interests. The special interests are those large organizations (such as businesses and interest groups) that will donate large amounts of money to a various political campaigns, with the intention of gaining increased access to various government officials. Over the course of time, the amounts of money that is being donated to political campaigns has increased, as the overall costs of running for office have also increased. However, as this has increased, the overall trust in the government from ordinary citizens is becoming less. This is because, as more influence is purchased from large campaign donors, the politicians are willing to listen to and respond to their concerns. However, when it comes to the average citizen, their overall access to public officials is far less. This is a direct link between what someone contributes to a campaign and the availability of elected officials. A good example of this can be seen with a comment from the Federal Appeals Court which said, "A failure to regulate the arena of campaign finance allows the influence of wealthy individuals and corporations to drown out the voices of individual citizens, leading to a political system that is unresponsive to the needs and desires of the public, and causing the public to become disillusioned with and mistrustful of the political system." (Samples 2008) There have been attempts to regulate the overall amount of contributions that large political interests can make to campaigns such as: Federal Election Campaign Act of 1972. This required all political candidates to disclose where they are obtaining their funding from and it limited the donations that individuals as well as Political Action Committees can make. Yet, in spite of these laws that are in place, various special interest and business groups have been able to circumvent the limits imposed by the law. Then, in 2002 the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold) was passed. This placed a limit on the overall amounts of soft money contributions that an entity can make to national political parties. (Corrado 2005) However, recently the McCain-Feingold law was determined to be unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. (Foster 2010) What this shows is that despite attempts to restrict large campaign contributions, many business and special interest groups are finding a way to go around the different campaign finance laws. In the case of the McCain-Feingold law, the fact that they were able to have it overturned on Constitutional grounds shows the overall influence that these groups have.

The ineffectiveness of these laws to stop the large political contributions and curtail the access to special interests of various public officials has helped contribute to the overall voter disenfranchisement. As they feel a lack of confidence in taking part in the political process, when their influence is limited and the special interests are going to determine who will win the election anyway. A good example of this; can be seen from a survey taken of voter perceptions about of politicians conducted by the LA Times. According to the survey, they found that nearly three quarters of potential voters believe that politicians are telling them just what they want to hear. As a result, because of these perceived perceptions about politicians, many voters are becoming turned off by the political process as they see that they do not have a voice in government. Instead, the various political candidates are influenced by the large campaign donors and simply telling the voters anything to win. (Skelton 1990) This is similar to Nigeria, in that the overall voter disenfranchisement was tied directly to beliefs about their influence within the government. The only difference is that influence in Nigeria often takes place through the various forms of corruption. While in the United States, this political influence occurs through special interests and various organizations that make large campaign contributions. While this may not be outright corruption, the overall effect is similar as voters see that they have no influence in political process, which causes them to begin avoiding the polls because of this frustration.

A third reason for the overall low levels of; voter turnout in the United States is: the lack of understanding as to what the different candidates stand for. Like what was stated previously, to run for office requires the use of the news media for any political candidate to effectively present their ideas to voters. However, the news media is mainly interested in short sound bits and headlines. When this occurs during the course of an election, many voters who would use the media to be able to find out what each candidate stand for, often runs into short sound bits or headlines. This does not allow voters to be able to make an informed decision about the candidates. (Nelson 2008) Then, when you combine this with the fact that most voters believe that politicians will say anything to get elected; causes them to become frustrated with the overall political process. As a result, many voters will often avoid going to the polls. (Skelton 1990)

A fourth factor that affects voter turn out in the United States is the overall economic status and education of the voter. The United States is like all of the other Presidential democracies, in that the overall levels of education and income will determine if someone will vote. The reason why; is because those voters who are more educated tend to follow national political events and believe that their vote can make a difference. Then, when you consider the fact, that those voters who are educated also make more money; means that the disparities between different groups with in society will play a role in determining if someone will vote. A good example of this can be seen during the general election of 1998, where 50.1% of eligible voters participated in the election. Yet, when you break the numbers down based upon education and income you can clearly see the disparities. As far as education is concerned, 84% of the eligible voters who had post graduate degrees participated in the election. While, those people who do have less than a high school education, only saw 38% participate in the election. A similar situation is occurring in voting patterns based upon income levels, with 63.1% of eligible voters turning out for the election who had incomes that were the top income tax brackets. While, the number voters that are in lowest income levels, saw only 36.4% participate in the election.[4] What this shows; is that the higher the education as well as income levels that someone has, the more likely they are to participate in the election.

A fifth factor that affects voter turnout in the United States is the overall time zone that someone is located. The United States has large differences between the different time zones. This means that if a voter is located in states such as: California or Hawaii, they may be less inclined to vote in the elections where the winner is called early. Over the course of time, this can cause some voters to begin to believe that their vote does not count; because the election has already been decided by those voters on the other end of the country. (Nelson 2008)

A sixth factor that affects voter turnout in the U.S. is the various religious beliefs of the voters or the candidates. In this particular aspect, religion plays a role in American society, where it is supposed to be separated between the church and state. Yet, when it comes to politics religion and the different view points are often embraced by certain aspects of the various political parties. This is because of different issues such as: abortion or prayers in school are: influenced based on the religion. During the course of an election, some voters will identify with candidates that share similar religious beliefs as themselves. If there is an election, where it seems as if a particular candidate that favors a religion or viewpoint based upon a religion; means that those voters who do not feel the same views will feel alienated. At which point, they will begin avoiding the polls because they do not feel that someone who shares the same religious beliefs will be in the government. (Cummings 2001) An example of this occurred during the election of 2004, where the Bush Cheney political campaign was able to energize the religious base because of their viewpoints on particular issues that were important to Christian fundamentalists such as: abortion. As a result, even though the Kerry Edwards political campaign was able to draw a large number of supporters; the various religious beliefs of Bush Cheney brought out more of their supporters. This helped them to win the critical states of Ohio and Florida, which won the election for them. (Thomas 2004) In this aspect the United States is similar to Nigeria, in that religion will determine if someone turns out for the general election based upon their agreement with the candidates' religious beliefs. A seventh factor that affects voter turn out in the United State is the Electoral College. To be elected the President of the United States requires that you win in the Electoral College. This means that during close elections a candidate could lose the popular vote, yet still win the election. This is because the way delegates are selected for the different electors in most states is: through a winner takes all system. During those elections that are close, this system can cause the winner to view the results of the election as mandate for their polices; based on the results of the Electoral College. However, when you look at the popular vote the candidate could have just barely won the election or might have slightly lost. Two good examples of this occurred with George W. Bush in 2004, where he assumed his victory over John Kerry was a mandate of his policies. However, outside of the Electoral College he barely won the election. While in 2000, Bush defeated Al Gore in the Electoral College, but lost the popular vote. (Thomas 2004) Once this situation takes place the executive branch will try to increase their overall power. For the average voter, this creates disconnect as they think that a particular candidate only won because they manipulated the system. Now that they are in power they are going to do what they want because of win. This eventually causes some voters to believe as if their vote does not count; because those who won the election did not do so with a clear mandate. Instead, of attempting to reach out to supporters of their opponent; the actions of the newly elected executive causes more voters to become disenfranchised. (Nelson 2008) This is similar to Nigeria, in that the belief by the average voter, that the electoral process is rigged against them. While the United States is not using the courts to legally disqualify candidates, they do have the Electoral College. This is a Constitutional mechanism that takes the power away from the people. As a result, because of the actions of either situation; the executive branch views any kind of win in the election as a clear mandate. At which, point they will attempt to increase power, similar to what happened in the United States and Nigeria.

An eighth factor which affects voter turnout in the United States is gridlock. Like what was stated earlier, one of the biggest problems with the Presidential democracy is that the executive will attempt to consolidate power. As this is occurring, the legislature will place the power of the executive branch in check through the use of the different powers that they have such as: overriding vetoes. However, a situation could occur, where the executive branch nor the legislature will have enough power to achieve their political objectives. When this take place, it means that the overall amount of legislation passed to run the government, much less address the needs of the citizens' drops. As both the executive and legislative branches, engage in a game of political finger pointing. Once this takes place, many voters will become frustrated by the overall political process as they see no way of having their concerns addressed. Over the course of time this will lead to voter disenfranchisement, as many voters believe that neither one of the political parties has their best interests in mind. (Nelson 2008) This is a similar kind of frustration that is experienced in Nigeria, as the people do not see the politicians addressing their concerns by providing them with the services that they require. The only difference is: the constant bickering between the executive and legislative branches adds to this frustration, as the voters see this situation unfold in front of them.

A ninth factor that affects the overall levels of voter turn out in the United States is institutional factors. In this particular case, if the President has unpopular policies but has not broken any laws, the chances of removing him can be difficult until the next election cycle. (Nelson 2008) This is a similar problem as to what is occurring in Nigeria, where the President is elected. Then as they run the country, their polices become unpopular with the voters. Because the standard for removing leaders from office is so high, means that many voters will often begin in various civil actions to express their discontent. In the United States a similar situation occurred during the election of 1964 when President Johnson said he would not introduce combat troops to South Vietnam. Yet, within one year he had ordered the first wave of combat troops into the country. Over the course of time, as Johnson's policies became more unpopular the overall amounts of political unrest rose as there was no way to remove him from office. (Young 1990) What this shows is that the model of the Presidential democracy, can lead to civil unrest or coups when a leader is unpopular and can not be removed from office.

A tenth factor that plays a role in voter turnout in the United States is the race, ethnicity, nationality or sexual orientation of a person. The United States is a vast country with many different nationalities and ethnic groups; that live in various communities throughout the United States. These different communities form voting blocks that many politicians will cater to. A good example would be the Cuban American Community in Miami. Since the fall of Batista in 1959, large numbers of Cuban Americans have had an influence on both national and state policy decisions. In the case of Cubans, this meant they were able to be given favorable status over other nationalities such as: when a Cuban refugee touches American shores they are considered to be a political refugee. This means that the chances of Cubans being deported to their country are small because of this distinction. (Garcia 1997) For the average voter, when they see the different politicians catering to such a community, causes them to believe that politicians only favor certain groups of people. At which point, they will become frustrated and stop participating in the political process. This is similar to what is taking place in Nigeria, where favoritism towards a particular group causes many voters to feel as if their vote does not count. Once this takes place, before long until you see the different voter turnout numbers decline.

When you examine the overall Presidential democracy of the United States, it is clear that is has similar problems to Nigeria, yet in its own unique way. This can be seen by the fact that education, income, perceived areas of influence and the political system itself. The way that it is similar to Nigeria is with the overall challenges that voters face when trying to have a voice in public affairs. Because of these different factors both countries have seen similar trends since the 1960's as far as levels of voter turnout are concerned. The reason why this is troubling is when the voters begin to feel as if the government is not listening to their concerns, before long until civil unrest and coups occur. In both counties such situations have taken place out of frustration that voters have with the political process.

Liberia has many different cultural, historical and political links to both Nigeria as well as the United States. The country has a cultural tie to the United States because it was formed from a group of freed American slaves in 1847. This group of former slaves formed a Presidential democracy like the governments of the United States and Nigeria. Over the course of time, the former slaves and their decedents, would rule the country until 1980. This would spark a period of civil wars that would last until 2003. Like Nigeria, the country is facing a number of different challenges because of the overall political system and various cultural factors; are preventing people from voting in the different elections. The most notable would include: corruption and divisiveness, throughout the history of Liberia there has always been a sense of: divisiveness between the descendents of the former American slaves (Americo Liberians) and the native inhabitants of Liberia. This divisiveness is the root of the overall levels of corruption that is taking place. What happened was; the Americo Liberians believed that they were above the native inhabitants of the Liberia. As a result, this created a sense of entitlement that these former slaves and their decedents were destined to rule Liberia. This attitude of entitlement created a culture of divisiveness that would only fuel the overall levels of corruption. Where, the various government officials throughout the years believed that this was the most acceptable practice. Over the course of time, the corruption and the divisiveness would lead to overall levels of discontent among the majority of Liberians, as they began to see their government benefiting the country's elite. At which point, a series of coups and civil wars would take place. (McPherson 2004) In 1980, Liberia would experience its first coup that was the direct bi product of corruption and divisiveness since independence. What happened was; various non commissioned officers in the army, led by Samuel Doe, overthrew the existing government. The new government would run the country with authoritarian rule that would reflect the ideas of minority parties throughout the country. After facing mounting international pressure to resume free elections, Doe, allowed elections to take place in 1985. (McPherson 2004) However, after loosing the election to his opponents, Doe, threw out the election results and remained in power. This would lead to a coup that would last for three day, in which the government was able to overcome the uprising. (McPherson 2004) However, after the revolt was successfully suppressed, Doe suspended the civil liberties of the country and would rule with an iron fist. This caused the people to view that their voice in the government did not count, especially when a legitimate election is single handedly thrown out by the current President. Then, when you combine this with the fact that the Doe government supported policies of divisiveness and corruption; only added to the overall levels of discontent among the population. In this particular aspect, the Presidential democracy that was established by the former American slaves sowed the seeds of divisiveness and corruption. The way that this is linked to voter discontent, is when the will of the people is not respected. Then, the electorate will become restless, at which point before long until civil unrest or uprisings occur. (McPherson 2004)

In the case of Liberia, two civil wars would take place in 1989 and 1999, because of the divisiveness, corruption and authoritarian rule by the Doe government. In this case, an Americo Liberian, named Charles Taylor would lead his forces against the Doe loyalists. At first, he was welcomed by many Liberians as a liberator; however, a former lieutenant of Taylor's (Yormie Prince Johnson) formed his own militia that was composed of native Liberians. This would lead to fighting between the three sides that would last until Doe's forces disintegrated after his death. At which point, power was handed over to the Council of State (this was a caretaker government that would remain in power until democratic elections took place). After winning the election in 1997, Charles Taylor became the President of Liberia and immediately began engaging in policy that favored the Americo Liberians. Combine this with the overall atmosphere of corruption that existed since independence, meant that the same kinds of issues would be faced by the local population. Then, when you add the overall brutality that the Taylor government was known for, lead to a new round of fighting in 1999. As the fighting was becoming more intense, pressure was placed on Taylor to resign, from the U.N. and the United States. Reluctantly, Taylor resigned and went into exile in Nigeria. However, Taylor would face trail for war crimes abuses that were committed during the civil wars of 1989 and 1999.[5] (McPherson 2004) In 2005, the country would have elections, with Ellen Sirleaf becoming the new President. However, in the election of 2005, the overall number voters who participated was1.2 million people, compared with the expected 1.5 million turn out.[6] This disappointing number highlighted the overall frustration that many Liberians have with the political system. As both sides attempt to tell the people what they want to hear, then when they become elected they are no better than the previous government. A good example of this; can be seen with comments made by David Singh (head of the U.N. Mission in Liberia), where he says, "We did a lot of outreach and sensitization, but the people were the mostly traumatized by the war and there's a reluctance to take part." [7] This attitude is reflected with comments from some local residents who lived in the Wilson Corner Camp near the capital Monrovia, with one resident saying, "In 1997, we had lots of candidates coming to us saying that when they were elected, they would help to change our lives. But when we voted them into office, they forgot about us and now we are seeing the same sorts of people making the same promises, so there is no need to even register. We don't care to vote."[8]

What all of this shows; is that like with Nigeria, Liberia is facing similar situations that are common within the Presidential democracy. Where, corruption and a sense of entitlement have fueled anger over the decades among the citizens. At which point, civil unrest begins, which has led to coups that have escalated into civil wars. This is because each government engages in the same practices as their predecessors, while telling the public what they think they would want to hear. At which point, many voters will become disenfranchised and will stop participating in elections all together because of this frustration. Then, when attempts are made to clean up the corruption, there is backlash against those government officials who simply want too look out for the best interests of the country. A good example of this; occurred recently when, Keith Jubah was shot and killed in November 2009. What makes this crime so shocking is the fact that he was head of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission. This was an agency that was established; with ensuring that the mineral rights of Liberia are respected. In 2006, Jubah made headlines when he canceled several high profile foreign mineral contracts, claiming that they were not in the best interests of Liberia. When ordinary people see coups, wars, lies and then assignations; it causes them to become jaded with the overall political process. Once this take place, they become withdrawn from participating in the political process.[9]

A second factor that is affecting voter turn out in Liberia is the overall political system itself. In this particular aspect, the different political parties would try to out maneuver each other for position since the country was founded. What happened was the executive branch would dominate all of the other branches of the government. Over the course of time, the sense of entitlement and corruption would force public officials to hold on to power at all costs. As this is taking place, one political party was able to gain considerable advantages over the other. This resulted in the emergence one single party, the True Whig Party in 1877. Form the period between 1877 and 1980; anyone who was nominated for public office was virtually assured of serving in that position for a considerable period of time. (McPherson 2004) This established a sense of entitlement, as one party and group of people were able to have the most influence within the country. As the decades went by, this monopolistic political system would force ordinary citizens to view the government as one that favors Americo Liberians and the True Whig Party. At which point, coups have taken place, which have led to the violent civil wars. This is similar to the drawbacks that are seen in the Presidential democracy of Nigeria, as many people have no way of effectively removing government officials from office. The only difference is that this system of entitlement morphed into a single political party system, as the executive and different Americo Liberians gained more influence. Over the course of many decades, this system led to unrest that contributed to the different problems that the country is currently wrestling with. This system of politics as usual has continued to remain a part of the overall Liberian political experience, as many Americo Liberians who were tied to some of the brutal regimes of the past, still continue to serve in the government. A good example of this occurred, when Charles Taylor's third ex wife, Jewel, was elected to the Senate in 2005. What makes this matter so disturbing is that when she was married to Taylor, she lived the lavish lifestyle as the country's first lady. Where, Taylor had embezzled millions of dollars from the people; and she knew about the overall brutality that was occurring at the hands of her husband.[10] When the voters see situations, such as: the election of Jewel Taylor, it only underscores the sense of entitlement that has occurred through the history of Liberia. As the average person has no chance of having their voice heard; due to the high amounts of political influence that the system allows. As result, when an election is taking place, it is no surprise that voter turnout is so low such as: the election of 2005.[11]

A third factor that affects voter turnout in Liberia; is: the overall levels of education and income. Throughout much of its history, the education system in Liberia has favored the Americo Liberians. This is because since independence the former slaves established an economic and social system that was based upon the American South. Under this system, there were clear divisions between the different groups of people within society. (McPherson 2004) Because the Americo Liberians used such a system, meant that they were at the highest levels of society in comparison to other groups. This meant that the children of Americo Liberians would be far better than that of native Liberians. Over the course of time many of the country's future leaders would be exposed to this education system. Where, they would take the education that they received in Liberia and augment it with the different universities that were established for this purpose (such as: University of Liberia) or go to other countries to receive advanced education. (McPherson 2004) A good example of this, took place with former President Charles Taylor; who received his primary education in Liberia. Then he studied in the United States, until his return to the country in 1980.[12] When such an educational system exists, many ordinary Liberians become discouraged by the political process by not having access to high quality education. Then to make matters worse, the two civil wars meant that poverty and education levels would fall even farther. What this shows; is that another reason many voters are turned off from voting in Liberia is their lack of access to education and the abject poverty that most live in. Like what was stated previously, those people who are more educated and have higher income levels; are more inclined to vote in elections as well as take an interest in politics. In the case of Liberia, those people who were most actively involved in politics, received a formal education from a system of privilege, geared towards Americo Liberians. This caused the Americo Liberians to become more actively involved in matters of politics and government. When you combine this with the monopolistic political system that existed after 1877; it highlights how the educational system was slanted toward Americo Liberians. As a result, over the course of time ordinary Liberians are consistently voting less, as they are not educated enough to make an informed decision and they wrestle with poverty. (McPherson 2004)

When you examine the Presidential democracy of Liberia, it is clear that its overall structure has contributed to a number of different problems that the country has faced. This is similar to what is occurring in Nigeria; where corruption, division, education, income and the political system itself are causing voters to become frustrated. What makes Liberia different from Nigeria; is the overall pervasiveness of the political system began when country first gained independence. Where, the Americo Liberians attempted to exert as much control and influence as possible over the native Liberians. Over the course of time, this led to large amounts of voter discontent; that has led to coups, civil wars and violence. At which point, when elections do occur the ordinary citizen is so jaded by the political process; that they do not see the point in participating. In this aspect, Liberia is similar to Nigeria, in that the voter discontent is at incredibly high levels, which is contributing to low voter turnout rates. The only difference is; that this discontent has led to outright civil wars in Liberia, while it has led to coups and military dictatorships in Nigeria.

Afghanistan

To fully understand the true scope of the problems faced by various Presidential democracies requires that look at a number of different democracies around the globe. In the case of Afghanistan it has similar problems to the challenges that are faced by Nigeria. Yet, like all of the other Presidential democracies, it has it own unique sets of problems that are contributing to overall levels of voter disenfranchisement. In this particular case, Afghanistan has a long history that goes back many centuries, with foreign invasion and occupation encompassing a regular part of its history. This is important; because the country has went through numerous forms of government over the years to include: a monarchy, a communist government, a religious theocracy and now a Presidential democracy. In 2003, the democracy was established after years of civil war began when the Soviet Union occupied the country until 1989. At which point, the Taliban rose to power and immediately imposed a religious theocracy. Then, after it became clear that the country was a sanctuary for Al Quida, after the September 11th terrorist attacks, meant that a democracy would be in place since that time. (Rothestein 2008)

However, when you look at the democracy in Afghanistan, it is clear that is facing similar problems to what is being encountered in Nigeria, to include: corruption. This is important in the case of Afghanistan; because corruption is undermining the legitimate authority of the government. A good example of this can be seen in recent report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; which found that the overall levels of corruption are so severe, that it takes nearly one quarter of a percent out of the country's GDP growth each year. (Gebauer 2010) While this may not seem large, in country that is struggling to rebuild, this is tremendous. As result, the study found that 59% of the population in Afghanistan feels that this is the biggest threat to the country. This outweighs the most obvious concerns of security and unemployment. (Gebauer 2010) However, in the case of Afghanistan they face a situation of extreme corruption that is contributing to a lack of faith in the government. As ordinary Afghans who supported the new government in 2001, now are complaining about how the situation has become worse since it has been a democracy. As many people claim how under the Taliban's authoritarian regime corruption simply was not a problem. Over the course of time as the overall levels of corruption has become worse; it has helped fuel resentment about the current government. A good example of this; can be seen by looking no further than the recent election that occurred where voter turn out declined from 76% in the election held in 2004 to 50% for the 2009 elections.[13] To make the situation even more precarious there was widespread voter fraud that took place in the election.[14] After, various legal battles the opponent of President Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah dropped out. The reason that he gave is; that any kind of recount would rigged, with the opposition candidate saying, "I will not participate, because a transparent election is not possible."[15] What this situation shows; is how the overall levels of corruption have affected voter turnout. This is significant, because with security still a major issue a legitimate government that can deliver various services to citizens is imperative. The way that the election was conducted and then the abrupt withdrawal of the opposition candidate, citing how any rerun of election would not be fair. Only underscores to the voters, that any kind of perceptions that the political system is working is simply not true. Instead, it tells them that government officials are there for their own personal interests. Then, when the candidate who cheated remains in power, only legitimizes these perceptions. Over the course of time, this means that ordinary citizens will not help the government in any way. In the case of Afghanistan, this is the first sign that possible civil unrest could occur, which could lead to a wide spread civil war throughout the country.

Yet, to fully understand the scope of corruption in Afghanistan you must examine the overall drug problem that is encompassing the country. Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan has become one of the largest producers of heroine in the world. This is significant because the income levels of many farmers are so low, that the only way they can make any money is to grow poppy (the plant that contains the main ingredient necessary for heroine). (Lassester 2009) Then when you combine this with the large amounts of profits that are generated from the drug, meant that it was only a matter of time until corruption became a major factor. A good example of this can be seen by looking at the poppy crop that was produced in May 2009; where Afghan police pull up in Ford Rangers demanding bribes from drug king pens for upcoming irradiation efforts. (Lassester 2009) Those who paid are overlooked once the actual operations with American forces begin. (Lassester 2009) While this may sound shocking, the reality is that this form of corruption is very severe, with a recent Afghan farmer saying, "There is no one to complain to. Most of the government officials are involved." (Lassester 2009) Then, when you combine this with the fact that many government officials are involved in this illegal activity; highlights how perverse corruption has become. This is especially troubling when you consider the fact that nearly 90% of the heroine that is produced in world comes from Afghanistan. (Lassester 2009)

What all of this shows; is that corruption is affecting the overall psychology of voters. Where, they went from high participation rates in 2004, to rates of 50% in the 2009 elections.[16] This is significant because, when you examine this in conjunction with the fact that the country has become the world's largest producer of heroine, means that the drug traffickers have been able to gain influence with in the government. This is despite, the fact that some of the same police and security officials are working actively with NATO forces. (Lassester 2009) Then, when you examine the recent comments, from the opposition candidate withdrawing from the election, it becomes clear that he was referring to corruption.[17] This explains why so many Afghan voters have gone from aspirations of hopes after the fall of the Taliban, to one of frustration with the current political system. Clearly, there is a parallel between the corruption that is occurring in Afghanistan and Nigeria, where it may not be as severe in Nigeria. Yet, in both countries the overall amounts of corruption are a major factor affecting voter perceptions. Once this begins to take place, before long until you see the voter turnout rates decline.

A second factor that is affecting voter turn out in Afghanistan is the overall levels of violence that has been occurring. It has been no secret; that over the last few years the overall levels of violence in Afghanistan has been rising steadily. This is in response to the Taliban, resorting to violence in an effort to destabilize the country. What is happening is the Taliban have been actively working to restore a religious theocracy to the country. This idea of a fundamentalist Muslim state is shared with the terrorist group Al Quaida. Together, these two elements have been actively seeking to do anything they can to prevent voters from turning out to the polls. As a result, whenever an election is taking place, there will be violence from the Taliban and Al Quaida. This violence forces some voters to stay away from the polls. A good example of this occurred during the elections of 2009, where 26 people were killed in Election Day violence.[18] When you combine this with the fact, that the Taliban and Al Quida have been actively supporting the heroine trade; means that the average voter will be frustrated with the political system. (Lassester 2009) Where, they will feel as if both elements (the government and the Taliban) are interested in their own self interests. At which point, when the two sides begin to clash, while the average Afghan is caught in the middle of everything. This overall complexity of violence and the drug trade; makes them feel helpless to the events that are occurring around them. Over the course of time, this leads to frustration, that neither side can be able to provide stability to the country. It is this frustration that forces, voters to stay away from the polls. This is similar to the overall levels of election violence in Nigeria, where perceived violence forced voters to stay away from the polls. (Olori 2004)

A third factor that is affecting voter turn out in Afghanistan is education and income levels. Like with Nigeria, the overall amounts of education and income levels will determine how involved voters are in politics. This is because the country has been through years of civil war, which has destroyed the overall educational infrastructure. Then when you combine this with the fact that schools are frequent targets of terrorist attacks; means that receiving a high quality education can be challenging. An example of this can be seen by looking no further than the Afghan army, where nine out of ten soldiers can not read.[19] As far as income is concerned, the war and years of rule under the Taliban have meant that there is a lack of economic opportunity in the country. This is important; because in order for a stable democracy to develop, means that the standard of living should be increasing. Out of frustration, many farmers and ordinary Afghans will become involved with the Taliban or the drug trade as they seek out ways to make ends meet. (Lassester 2009) When you combine the factors of education and income, it is clear that these two elements help contribute to voter frustrations. As they see no way of the current government helping to improve the overall quality of their lives, much less future generations. These overall levels of frustration force voters to avoid the polls. This is similar to what is occurring in Nigeria, where overall education and income levels are contributing to voter discontent. Like in Nigeria, the high levels of education and lack of economic opportunity are radicalizing ordinary Afghans. (Maier 2002)

A fourth factor that is affecting voter perceptions in Afghanistan is religion. This is similar to what is taking place in Nigeria, with sections of the country being influenced by radical Islam. In the case of Afghanistan, the country has gone through periods of radical Islamic fundamentalism under the Taliban. Yet, the overall view of Muslims and various icons play a role in determining who Afghans will be voting for. In the Muslim world there are two different sects of the religion the Shi'a's and the Sunnis. This is important because throughout the history of Islam the two sides have not been able to get along because of slight difference in their religious belief. During a political campaign voters will identify with those candidates who share similar religious beliefs as themselves. However, if emotions are heated, there could be instances where clashes have occurred between the Shi'as and the Sunnis. A good example of this took place, in 2006 when religious violence between the two sides, which resulted in five deaths.[20] While this particular incident was not directly related to an election, it shows the overall passion that both sides have when it comes to religion. This passion of religion is passed on to the political candidates, as both sides attempt to reach out to the different groups of voters. If a particular group views, that the majority of candidates in the election are of a particular religious view point, voter turn out rates will drop. This is similar to parts of Nigeria, where various religious groups will turn out to support the various candidates based upon their religious views. (Olori 2004)

A fifth factor that affects levels of voter turnout in Afghanistan is: ethnic / language variables. Like with Nigeria, Afghanistan is a very diverse country that has a wide variety of ethnic groups to include: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkmen, Baloch and Aimak. While there are thirty major languages spoken, to include: Persian, Pashto, Uzbek and Turkamen. (Abirafeh 2009) This is significant because, the country is divided largely along the different tribal lines; which means that voters will vote for candidates that are from particular ethnic groups. This is important because often times, the young democracy has often faced grid lock because of these perceived ethnic / language differences. When a particular ethnic group dominates the government, means that the overall levels of voters' disenchantment will raise, as the other side views the current government as one that is in favor of a particular group of people. (Abirafeh 2009) Over the course of time, this helps add to overall levels of violence as those Afghans who are in the minority reach out to those elements that will allow them to stand up to the government, such as the Taliban. Once this take place, it means that voter participation rates will drop in those parts of the country that are dominated by the minority. (Abirafeh 2009) This is similar to what is happening in Nigeria, as the overall levels of voter turn out are based upon if the candidates are from a particular ethnic group. (Olori, 2004)

A sixth factor that is affecting the overall levels of voter turnout in Afghanistan has been within the Presidential system itself. Like what is occurring in Nigeria, the overall Presidential democracy is allowing the executive branch to gain increasing amounts of power. This is significant because, when such situations occur, the overall levels of voter discontent rise as the executive branch dominates more areas. What makes this particularly troubling in the case of Afghanistan; is that the President Hamid Karzai lost the election. After fraud was discovered, his challenger bowed out of the race because he claimed there was no way a fair election could take place.[21] This means, that the people of Afghanistan are stuck with an unpopular ruler and an unpopular government. This is a similar situation to what is occurring in Nigeria, where the people have often been forced to live with unpopular rulers and no way to remove them from office.

When you do a side by side comparison of the democracies of Afghanistan and Nigeria, it is clear that they are both grappling with similar kinds of situations. These would include: corruption, violence, education, income, religion, ethnic / language and unpopular rulers. The biggest difference between the two; is that Afghanistan has more extreme amounts of corruption that are fueling the violence. This is in part because of the large amounts of heroine that is produced in the country. Whenever, you introduce the lucrative profits of the drug trade with violence and no economic opportunities; the inevitable result is extreme amounts of corruption. (Lassester 2009) Once this takes place, it is only a mater of time until the voters begin to become disillusioned with the current political system. What makes Afghanistan worse, is the fact that the main presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, withdrew from the election claiming there was no way a fair election can take place.[22] This is an obvious sign of discontent not only among the opposition, but among the voters themselves. Evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than the fact that in the 2009 election 50% of the eligible voters participated in the election, a sharp drop from the 76% that was seen in 2004.[23] Together, these two elements are fueling voter discontent and are why so many Afghans are losing faith in their government.

A Comparison of the Presidential Democracy of Nigeria

When you do a comparison with the different Presidential democracies that have been mentioned earlier; it is clear that all of them have many similarities to Nigeria. They also have differences that are unique to each region of the world, where they are located. The reason why all of the different Presidential democracies were selected for this thesis is to highlight the overall challenge that is facing this form of government. When you look at a wide variety of Presidential democracies across the world, you can begin to gain greater insights as to what challenges are unique to this form of government.

In the case of the different democracies mentioned earlier, some of the similarities that they have with Nigeria would include: being affected by various forms of influence. Regardless of what democracy you are looking at, one of the biggest reasons why the overall levels of voter turn out is so low, is because of a lack of access to public officials. This often comes in the form of corruption, as various entities are able to gain undue influence.

[24]However, in some countries such as the United States, this overall influence takes place on a much higher level, where these different interests are able to gain access through various campaign donations. (Cunningham 2001) This is important because in all Presidential democracies, the trust of the people in the faith of the government is imperative to ensuring stability in the future. If there is no faith in the government, because it is believed to be corrupt at some level, then before long until unrest occurs. In some cases, this can lead to coups and civil wars. A good example of deteriorating trust occurred with the government of South Vietnam, where for years it had been known that the overall levels of corruption went all the way to the top.

[25] Over the course of time, this led to a break down in the government as the executive branch dominated a population where it did not have popular support. While this is an extreme scenario, it is important to look at this example in relation to the different Presidential democracies and what challenges could be faced in the future. In this case of Nigeria, the overall levels of corruption within the government have become so severe, that people were shouting to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as to how oppressive the conditions are. (Chironda 2010) The inability of the government to respond to these basic needs in the richest to poorest democracies is what is fueling voter disenchantment. Another similarity between all of the different Presidential democracies mentioned earlier and Nigeria is violence. (Maier 2002) What takes place in the different Presidential democracies is: the overall levels of voter discontent can lead to uprisings, coups and violence. In some countries such as Liberia and Afghanistan this has led to civil wars, as a frustrated population seeks out to remove an unpopular leader. There have also been coups that have taken place; in the case of Nigeria and Liberia, where military dictatorships attempted to consolidate the overall power of the executive branch. (Maier 2002) While in the United States, voter discontent has led to various acts of civil unrest such as: the time that Richard Nixon began the bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. This unpopular action, lead to a series of protests and riots that ended in the Kent State shootings.

[26] This is one of the obvious drawbacks of the Presidential system, in that there could be times when removing an unpopular leader can be challenging. (Nelson 2008) In the case of Nigeria, Liberia and Afghanistan; removing a popular leader means having to overcome tremendous obstacles such as: election fraud, intimidation and violence. Then when you add the overall burden being high to remove leaders from office; means that the electorate must wait until the next election. Yet, when the party in power will do anything to maintain control, means that the election is going to go in the favor of a select group of people. (Nelson 2008) This outright favoritism causes people to become frustrated with the political process, at which point they will become discouraged with politics in general. (Nelson 2008) This is especially problematic for all Presidential democracies, when you consider the fact that people vote based upon their levels of income, education, religion, ethnicity, nationality and sexual orientation. Anytime anyone of these groups could feel as if they are not receiving the proper amount of attention from the government. This means that over time; these levels of discontent will rise, resulting in some form of civil unrest or violence.

A third similarity between all of the different Presidential democracies would be the loss of faith in the political system. Depending upon, the country this overall loss of faith that is occurring, will cause the voters see no difference in the politicians that are running for office and the one that are currently holding power. Where, many voters feel as if various government officials are just telling them what they want to hear to win the election. Then after, these officials were victorious, they forget about the people until the next election comes around. At which point the same promises occur, all over again.[27]

Regardless of what Presidential democracy you are looking at, the overall levels of declining voter participation is consistently sliding. This is because they have lost faith in the combination of: a number of different factors together. When you look at all of the different elements of corruption, violence, education, income, religion, grid lock, difficulty removing unpopular leaders and the same promises made over again; it is clear why the majority of voters are turned off in these different countries. (Nelson 2008) This is significant, because when the voters become restless and lose faith in the political process; is when you will see various acts of civil unrest, violence, coups and wars. In the case of all of the different Presidential democracies it is clear that there is a disconnect between the voters and various government officials. Unless, this disconnect is addressed, there more than likely will be sweeping changes that occur in the weaker of the Presidential democracies. In the case of Afghanistan, Nigeria and Liberia; the overall levels of voter discontent is a sign that government officials must engage in activates that will support the interests of the general public. Otherwise, before long until some sort of changes takes place in the different forms of government. (Maier 2002) While in the United States this discontent could lead to the emergence of new political parties and unconventional leaders. As the electorate; is searching for governments that are responsive to the needs of the general public.

Clearly, after carefully comparing Nigeria with the Presidential democracies of the United States, Liberia and Afghanistan; it is obvious that this form of government is full of it fair share of drawbacks. This is because of the overall structure and the different unique factors that affect each country. The most common drawbacks of the Presidential system would include: the fact that the executive branch could begin dominate all of the other branches, grid lock can occur and it is difficult to remove unpopular rulers. These different weaknesses of the system itself; have allowed various political entities to have greater access to government officials, it has helped fuel incidents of uprisings / violence and in some cases it has led to coups or civil wars. Yet, within each of the different Presidential democracies is varying degrees of strength. The weakest ones would be the

governments of Afghanistan, Liberia and Nigeria. This is because of: their inability to respond to the basic needs of their citizens; often fueling resentment that will only continue to fester, at which point a change will occur. The same thing applies to the United States only on a higher level. However, when the voters begin to completely lose faith in the government; before long, until changes takes place. Once it does, the future direction of a nation will depend on if the government officials will respond to the will of the people. If they engage in the same actions as their predecessors, then before long until this dissatisfaction is reflected in voter participation rates. It is through examining voter participation rates in this light; that help underscore the overall challenges that the Presidential democracy presents not only to Nigeria, but to the world.

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Lassester, Tom. Afghan Drug Trade Thrives with Help and Neglect of Officials. McClathchy Newspaper, Available at: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/67723.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Maier, Karl, 2002, This House has Fallen: Nigeria in Crisis, Westview Press, Boulder. McPherson, M, 2004, History of Liberia, Kessinger, Waterford. Nelson, Dana, 2008, Bad for Democracy: How the Presidency Undermines the Power of the People, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

Olori, Terry. 2004. Nigeria Little Excitement over Local Elections. Norwegian Council for Africa, Available at: http://www.afrika.no/Detailed/5117.html [Accessed 2 February 2010].

Pflanz, Mike. 2007. Mobs Roam Streets after Nigerian Poll. Telegraph Online, Available at:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1548765/Mobs-roam-streets-after-Nigerian-poll.html [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Rose, Gary, 1994, Controversial Issues in Presidential Selection, State University of New York Press, Albany. Rothstein, Hy, 2006, Afghanistan and the Troubled Future of Unconventional War, Manas Publications, New Dehli. Skelton, G, 1990. Running From, Not For, Office Potential leaders cite the cost, cheap shots and the invasion of privacy. LA Times 23 Jul. p. 1. http://www.spencer-roberts.com/running_from_political_office.htm Thomas, E, 2004, How Bush Won and What You Can Expect in the Future. Public Affairs, New York.Young, M, 1990, Vietnam Wars 1945 - 1990. Harper Parennial, New York.

[1] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010].

[2] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010].

[3] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010].

[4] National Voter Turn Out in Federal Elections: 1960 - 2008. 2009. Info Please. Available at: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html [Accessed 3 February 2010].

[5] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[6] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[7] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[8] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[9] Liberian Corruption Fighter Killed. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8338302.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[10] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[11] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[12] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[13] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[14] UN Official Admits Afghan Vote a Fraud. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/11/afghanistan.un/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[15] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[16] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[17] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[18] Officials Hail Afghan Vote a Success. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/20/afghanistan.election/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010]

[19] Illiteracy Undermines Afghan Army. 2009. Air Force Times. Available at: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/09/ap_afghan_army_illiteracy_091409/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[20] Religious Violence Leads to Deaths in Heart. 2006.. Radio Free Europe, Available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1065608.html

[21] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[22] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[23] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[24] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010].Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Illiteracy Undermines Afghan Army. 2009. Air Force Times. Available at: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/09/ap_afghan_army_illiteracy_091409/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Kent State 1970 May 1 though 4. n.d. May 4, Available at: http://may4.org/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Liberian Corruption Fighter Killed. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8338302.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

National Voter Turn Out in Federal Elections: 1960 - 2008. 2009. Info Please. Available at: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html [Accessed 3 February 2010].

Officials Hail Afghan Vote a Success. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/20/afghanistan.election/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Religious Violence Leads to Deaths in Heart. 2006. Radio Free Europe, Available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1065608.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Samples, J. 2008. Setting the Record Straight for Low Voter Turnout. BNet, Available at: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1272/is_2714_133/ai_n7577995/?tag=content;col1 [Accessed 3 February 2010].

UN Official Admits Afghan Vote a Fraud. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/11/afghanistan.un/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]. Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Abirafeh, Lina, 2009, Gender and International Aid in Afghanistan, McFarland, Jefferson. Bratton, Michael 2008, Vote Buying and Violence in Nigeria Election Campaigns, Electoral Studies, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 621 - 632. Chironda, Melody. 2010. Clinton Attacks Corruption and Bad Governance. All Africa, Available at: http://allafrica.com/stories/201001270729.html [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Corrado, A, 2005, The New Campaign Finance Source Book. Brookings Institution Press, Washington D.C. Cumming, M, 2001, Democracy Under Pressure an Introduction to the American Political System. Thomas Wadsworth Learning, New York. Foster, D. 2010. SCOTUS Knocks Down McCain Fiengold. National Review, Available at http://www.nationalreview.com/onthenews/?q=MzAxMTIzOTg0MDZkMTViZDZiNzE5NWVjMTkwYjVjYzg= [Accessed 3 February 2010] Garcia, M, 1997, Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida. University of California Press, Los Angeles. Gebauer, Matthias. 2010. UN Report Claims Bribes Equal to Quarter of GDP. Speigel, Available at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,672828,00.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Lassester, Tom. Afghan Drug Trade Thrives with Help and Neglect of Officials. McClathchy Newspaper, Available at: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/67723.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Maier, Karl, 2002, This House has Fallen: Nigeria in Crisis, Westview Press, Boulder. McPherson, M, 2004, History of Liberia, Kessinger, Waterford. Nelson, Dana, 2008, Bad for Democracy: How the Presidency Undermines the Power of the People, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. Olori, Terry. 2004. Nigeria Little Excitement over Local Elections. Norwegian Council for Africa, Available at: http://www.afrika.no/Detailed/5117.html [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Pflanz, Mike. 2007. Mobs Roam Streets after Nigerian Poll. Telegraph Online, Available at:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1548765/Mobs-roam-streets-after-Nigerian-poll.html [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Rose, Gary, 1994, Controversial Issues in Presidential Selection, State University of New York Press, Albany. Rothstein, Hy, 2006, Afghanistan and the Troubled Future of Unconventional War, Manas Publications, New Dehli. Skelton, G, 1990. Running From, Not For, Office Potential leaders cite the cost, cheap shots and the invasion of privacy. LA Times 23 Jul. p. 1. http://www.spencer-roberts.com/running_from_political_office.htm Thomas, E, 2004, How Bush Won and What You Can Expect in the Future. Public Affairs, New York.Young, M, 1990, Vietnam Wars 1945 - 1990. Harper Parennial, New York.

[1] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010]. [2] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010]. [3] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010]. [4] National Voter Turn Out in Federal Elections: 1960 - 2008. 2009. Info Please. Available at: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html [Accessed 3 February 2010]. [5] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010]. [6] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010] [7] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010] [8] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010] [9] Liberian Corruption Fighter Killed. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8338302.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010] [10] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010]. [11] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010] [12] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010]. [13] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[14] UN Official Admits Afghan Vote a Fraud. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/11/afghanistan.un/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[15] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[16] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[17] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[18] Officials Hail Afghan Vote a Success. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/20/afghanistan.election/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010] [19] Illiteracy Undermines Afghan Army. 2009. Air Force Times. Available at: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/09/ap_afghan_army_illiteracy_091409/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[20] Religious Violence Leads to Deaths in Heart. 2006.. Radio Free Europe, Available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1065608.html [21] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[22] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[23] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[24] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]. [25] Ambassador Ellworth Bunker's Cable Concerning Corruption in South Vietnam. 1972. University of Texas Available at: http://www.ford.utexas.edu/library/exhibits/vietnam/720719a.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[26] Kent State 1970 May 1 though 4. n.d. May 4, Available at: http://may4.org/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[27] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]. Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Illiteracy Undermines Afghan Army. 2009. Air Force Times. Available at: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/09/ap_afghan_army_illiteracy_091409/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Kent State 1970 May 1 though 4. n.d. May 4, Available at: http://may4.org/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Liberian Corruption Fighter Killed. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8338302.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010]. National Voter Turn Out in Federal Elections: 1960 - 2008. 2009. Info Please. Available at: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html [Accessed 3 February 2010]. Officials Hail Afghan Vote a Success. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/20/afghanistan.election/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Religious Violence Leads to Deaths in Heart. 2006. Radio Free Europe, Available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1065608.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Samples, J. 2008. Setting the Record Straight for Low Voter Turnout. BNet, Available at: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1272/is_2714_133/ai_n7577995/?tag=content;col1 [Accessed 3 February 2010]. UN Official Admits Afghan Vote a Fraud. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/11/afghanistan.un/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]. Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Abirafeh, Lina, 2009, Gender and International Aid in Afghanistan, McFarland, Jefferson. Bratton, Michael 2008, Vote Buying and Violence in Nigeria Election Campaigns, Electoral Studies, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 621 - 632. Chironda, Melody. 2010. Clinton Attacks Corruption and Bad Governance. All Africa, Available at: http://allafrica.com/stories/201001270729.html [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Corrado, A, 2005, The New Campaign Finance Source Book. Brookings Institution Press, Washington D.C. Cumming, M, 2001, Democracy Under Pressure an Introduction to the American Political System. Thomas Wadsworth Learning, New York. Foster, D. 2010. SCOTUS Knocks Down McCain Fiengold. National Review, Available at http://www.nationalreview.com/onthenews/?q=MzAxMTIzOTg0MDZkMTViZDZiNzE5NWVjMTkwYjVjYzg= [Accessed 3 February 2010] Garcia, M, 1997, Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida. University of California Press, Los Angeles. Gebauer, Matthias. 2010. UN Report Claims Bribes Equal to Quarter of GDP. Speigel, Available at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,672828,00.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Lassester, Tom. Afghan Drug Trade Thrives with Help and Neglect of Officials. McClathchy Newspaper, Available at: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/67723.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Maier, Karl, 2002, This House has Fallen: Nigeria in Crisis, Westview Press, Boulder. McPherson, M, 2004, History of Liberia, Kessinger, Waterford. Nelson, Dana, 2008, Bad for Democracy: How the Presidency Undermines the Power of the People, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. Olori, Terry. 2004. Nigeria Little Excitement over Local Elections. Norwegian Council for Africa, Available at: http://www.afrika.no/Detailed/5117.html [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Pflanz, Mike. 2007. Mobs Roam Streets after Nigerian Poll. Telegraph Online, Available at:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1548765/Mobs-roam-streets-after-Nigerian-poll.html [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Rose, Gary, 1994, Controversial Issues in Presidential Selection, State University of New York Press, Albany. Rothstein, Hy, 2006, Afghanistan and the Troubled Future of Unconventional War, Manas Publications, New Dehli. Skelton, G, 1990. Running From, Not For, Office Potential leaders cite the cost, cheap shots and the invasion of privacy. LA Times 23 Jul. p. 1. http://www.spencer-roberts.com/running_from_political_office.htm Thomas, E, 2004, How Bush Won and What You Can Expect in the Future. Public Affairs, New York.Young, M, 1990, Vietnam Wars 1945 - 1990. Harper Parennial, New York.

[1] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010].

[2] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010].

[3] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010].

[4] National Voter Turn Out in Federal Elections: 1960 - 2008. 2009. Info Please. Available at: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html [Accessed 3 February 2010]. [5] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[6] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[7] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[8] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[9] Liberian Corruption Fighter Killed. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8338302.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[10] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010]. [11] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010] [12] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[13] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[14] UN Official Admits Afghan Vote a Fraud. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/11/afghanistan.un/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[15] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[16] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[17] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[18] Officials Hail Afghan Vote a Success. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/20/afghanistan.election/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010] [19] Illiteracy Undermines Afghan Army. 2009. Air Force Times. Available at: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/09/ap_afghan_army_illiteracy_091409/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[20] Religious Violence Leads to Deaths in Heart. 2006.. Radio Free Europe, Available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1065608.html [21] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[22] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[23] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[24] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]. [25] Ambassador Ellworth Bunker's Cable Concerning Corruption in South Vietnam. 1972. University of Texas Available at: http://www.ford.utexas.edu/library/exhibits/vietnam/720719a.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[26] Kent State 1970 May 1 though 4. n.d. May 4, Available at: http://may4.org/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[27] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]. Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Illiteracy Undermines Afghan Army. 2009. Air Force Times. Available at: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/09/ap_afghan_army_illiteracy_091409/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Kent State 1970 May 1 though 4. n.d. May 4, Available at: http://may4.org/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Liberian Corruption Fighter Killed. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8338302.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010]. National Voter Turn Out in Federal Elections: 1960 - 2008. 2009. Info Please. Available at: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html [Accessed 3 February 2010]. Officials Hail Afghan Vote a Success. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/20/afghanistan.election/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Religious Violence Leads to Deaths in Heart. 2006. Radio Free Europe, Available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1065608.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Samples, J. 2008. Setting the Record Straight for Low Voter Turnout. BNet, Available at: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1272/is_2714_133/ai_n7577995/?tag=content;col1 [Accessed 3 February 2010]. UN Official Admits Afghan Vote a Fraud. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/11/afghanistan.un/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]. Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Abirafeh, Lina, 2009, Gender and International Aid in Afghanistan, McFarland, Jefferson. Bratton, Michael 2008, Vote Buying and Violence in Nigeria Election Campaigns, Electoral Studies, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 621 - 632. Chironda, Melody. 2010. Clinton Attacks Corruption and Bad Governance. All Africa, Available at: http://allafrica.com/stories/201001270729.html [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Corrado, A, 2005, The New Campaign Finance Source Book. Brookings Institution Press, Washington D.C. Cumming, M, 2001, Democracy Under Pressure an Introduction to the American Political System. Thomas Wadsworth Learning, New York. Foster, D. 2010. SCOTUS Knocks Down McCain Fiengold. National Review, Available at http://www.nationalreview.com/onthenews/?q=MzAxMTIzOTg0MDZkMTViZDZiNzE5NWVjMTkwYjVjYzg= [Accessed 3 February 2010] Garcia, M, 1997, Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida. University of California Press, Los Angeles. Gebauer, Matthias. 2010. UN Report Claims Bribes Equal to Quarter of GDP. Speigel, Available at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,672828,00.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Lassester, Tom. Afghan Drug Trade Thrives with Help and Neglect of Officials. McClathchy Newspaper, Available at: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/67723.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Maier, Karl, 2002, This House has Fallen: Nigeria in Crisis, Westview Press, Boulder. McPherson, M, 2004, History of Liberia, Kessinger, Waterford. Nelson, Dana, 2008, Bad for Democracy: How the Presidency Undermines the Power of the People, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. Olori, Terry. 2004. Nigeria Little Excitement over Local Elections. Norwegian Council for Africa, Available at: http://www.afrika.no/Detailed/5117.html [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Pflanz, Mike. 2007. Mobs Roam Streets after Nigerian Poll. Telegraph Online, Available at:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1548765/Mobs-roam-streets-after-Nigerian-poll.html [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Rose, Gary, 1994, Controversial Issues in Presidential Selection, State University of New York Press, Albany. Rothstein, Hy, 2006, Afghanistan and the Troubled Future of Unconventional War, Manas Publications, New Dehli. Skelton, G, 1990. Running From, Not For, Office Potential leaders cite the cost, cheap shots and the invasion of privacy. LA Times 23 Jul. p. 1. http://www.spencer-roberts.com/running_from_political_office.htm Thomas, E, 2004, How Bush Won and What You Can Expect in the Future. Public Affairs, New York.Young, M, 1990, Vietnam Wars 1945 - 1990. Harper Parennial, New York.

[1] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010].

[2] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010].

[3] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010].

[4] National Voter Turn Out in Federal Elections: 1960 - 2008. 2009. Info Please. Available at: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html [Accessed 3 February 2010].

[5] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[6] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[7] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[8] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[9] Liberian Corruption Fighter Killed. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8338302.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[10] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[11] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010] [12] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[13] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[14] UN Official Admits Afghan Vote a Fraud. 2009. CNN, Available at:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/11/afghanistan.un/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[15] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[16] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[17] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[18] Officials Hail Afghan Vote a Success. 2009. CNN, Available at:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/20/afghanistan.election/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010]

[19] Illiteracy Undermines Afghan Army. 2009. Air Force Times. Available at: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/09/ap_afghan_army_illiteracy_091409/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[20] Religious Violence Leads to Deaths in Heart. 2006.. Radio Free Europe, Available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1065608.html

[21] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[22] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[23] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[24] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[25] Ambassador Ellworth Bunker's Cable Concerning Corruption in South Vietnam. 1972. University of Texas Available at: http://www.ford.utexas.edu/library/exhibits/vietnam/720719a.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[26] Kent State 1970 May 1 though 4. n.d. May 4, Available at: http://may4.org/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[27] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]. Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Illiteracy Undermines Afghan Army. 2009. Air Force Times. Available at: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/09/ap_afghan_army_illiteracy_091409/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Kent State 1970 May 1 though 4. n.d. May 4, Available at: http://may4.org/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Liberian Corruption Fighter Killed. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8338302.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

National Voter Turn Out in Federal Elections: 1960 - 2008. 2009. Info Please. Available at: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html [Accessed 3 February 2010].

Officials Hail Afghan Vote a Success. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/20/afghanistan.election/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Religious Violence Leads to Deaths in Heart. 2006. Radio Free Europe, Available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1065608.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Samples, J. 2008. Setting the Record Straight for Low Voter Turnout. BNet, Available at: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1272/is_2714_133/ai_n7577995/?tag=content;col1 [Accessed 3 February 2010]. UN Official Admits Afghan Vote a Fraud. 2009. CNN, Available at:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/11/afghanistan.un/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]. Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Abirafeh, Lina, 2009, Gender and International Aid in Afghanistan, McFarland, Jefferson.

Bratton, Michael 2008, Vote Buying and Violence in Nigeria Election Campaigns, Electoral Studies, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 621 - 632. Chironda, Melody. 2010. Clinton Attacks Corruption and Bad Governance. All Africa, Available at: http://allafrica.com/stories/201001270729.html [Accessed 2 February 2010].

Corrado, A, 2005, The New Campaign Finance Source Book. Brookings Institution Press, Washington D.C. Cumming, M, 2001, Democracy Under Pressure an Introduction to the American Political System. Thomas Wadsworth Learning, New York. Foster, D. 2010. SCOTUS Knocks Down McCain Fiengold. National Review, Available at http://www.nationalreview.com/onthenews/?q=MzAxMTIzOTg0MDZkMTViZDZiNzE5NWVjMTkwYjVjYzg= [Accessed 3 February 2010]

Garcia, M, 1997, Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida. University of California Press, Los Angeles. Gebauer, Matthias. 2010. UN Report Claims Bribes Equal to Quarter of GDP. Speigel, Available at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,672828,00.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Lassester, Tom. Afghan Drug Trade Thrives with Help and Neglect of Officials. McClathchy Newspaper, Available at: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/67723.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

Maier, Karl, 2002, This House has Fallen: Nigeria in Crisis, Westview Press, Boulder. McPherson, M, 2004, History of Liberia, Kessinger, Waterford. Nelson, Dana, 2008, Bad for Democracy: How the Presidency Undermines the Power of the People, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

Olori, Terry. 2004. Nigeria Little Excitement over Local Elections. Norwegian Council for Africa, Available at: http://www.afrika.no/Detailed/5117.html [Accessed 2 February 2010].

Pflanz, Mike. 2007. Mobs Roam Streets after Nigerian Poll. Telegraph Online, Available at:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1548765/Mobs-roam-streets-after-Nigerian-poll.html [Accessed 2 February 2010]. Rose, Gary, 1994, Controversial Issues in Presidential Selection, State University of New York Press, Albany. Rothstein, Hy, 2006, Afghanistan and the Troubled Future of Unconventional War, Manas Publications, New Dehli.

Skelton, G, 1990. Running From, Not For, Office Potential leaders cite the cost, cheap shots and the invasion of privacy. LA Times 23 Jul. p. 1. http://www.spencer-roberts.com/running_from_political_office.htm Thomas, E, 2004, How Bush Won and What You Can Expect in the Future. Public Affairs, New York.Young, M, 1990, Vietnam Wars 1945 - 1990. Harper Parennial, New York.

[1] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010].

[2] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010].

[3] Voter Turnout. n.d. FairVote.org. Available at: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Voter_turnout/id/1970083 [Accessed 2 February 2010].

[4] National Voter Turn Out in Federal Elections: 1960 - 2008. 2009. Info Please. Available at: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html [Accessed 3 February 2010].

[5] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[6] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[7] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[8] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[9] Liberian Corruption Fighter Killed. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8338302.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[10] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[11] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[12] Charles Taylor - Preacher, Warlord, President. 2009. BBC. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2963086.stm [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[13] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[14] UN Official Admits Afghan Vote a Fraud. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/11/afghanistan.un/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[15] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[16] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[17] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[18] Officials Hail Afghan Vote a Success. 2009. CNN, Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/20/afghanistan.election/index.html [Accessed 5 February 2010]

[19] Illiteracy Undermines Afghan Army. 2009. Air Force Times. Available at: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/09/ap_afghan_army_illiteracy_091409/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[20] Religious Violence Leads to Deaths in Heart. 2006.. Radio Free Europe, Available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1065608.html

[21] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[22] Afghan Candidates Exit Complicates Peace Efforts. 2009. USA Today, Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-01-abdullah-afghan-election_N.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[23] Early Estimates Show Voter Turnout at Just over 50%. 2009. Forbes, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/09/19/afx2230458.html [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[24] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010].

[25] Ambassador Ellworth Bunker's Cable Concerning Corruption in South Vietnam. 1972. University of Texas Available at: http://www.ford.utexas.edu/library/exhibits/vietnam/720719a.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[26] Kent State 1970 May 1 though 4. n.d. May 4, Available at: http://may4.org/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[27] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010]

[25] Ambassador Ellworth Bunker's Cable Concerning Corruption in South Vietnam. 1972. University of Texas Available at: http://www.ford.utexas.edu/library/exhibits/vietnam/720719a.htm [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[26] Kent State 1970 May 1 though 4. n.d. May 4, Available at: http://may4.org/ [Accessed 5 February 2010].

[27] Voter Registration Ends with Disappointing Turnout Among IDP's. 2005. IRIN. Available at: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=54622 [Accessed 4 February 2010].

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