Journal of African Elections Volume 16 Number 2 Oct 2017 [Entire Journal]

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has dominated other political parties in every election since independence in 1966. Debates on factors that account for the dominance of the BDP typically point to weakness of opposition parties, lack of party funding, the electoral system and advantages of incumbency enjoyed by the ruling party. Using performance-based theory, this article contributes to the debate by empirically examining if citizens’ vote for the BDP is based on some selected variables. It aims to find out if Batswana’s voting intentions are determined by an assessment of the economy, democracy, corruption perception, and institutional trust, among others. The study makes use of the 2014 Afrobarometer data, and logistic regression models were used to analyse the data. Therefore the main
contribution of this article is the utilisation of empirical data to explain the vote for the ruling party. Theories of voting behaviour suggest that incumbent governments are likely to be voted back into office when they are perceived as performing well in the economy, are trustworthy and not corrupt. This begs
the question why some incumbent governments are voted back into office despite poor performance in the economy, declining institutional trust and rising corruption. The article finds that the BDP’s dominance is attributable to its good performance in governance and economic management. The data
reveals that Batswana are rational voters, whose voting intentions are based on a careful assessment of the economic performance of BDP government, attitudes towards corruption level and trust in institutions. The paper alsohows that even though Botswana enjoys some good international scores on
governance and corruption, citizens perceive that there has been an increase in the number of leaders and organisations involved in corruption. The study has also found that trust is high but decreasing for the ruling party, and low but increasing for opposition parties.


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Categories: Journal of African Elections
journal of african elections vol16 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa