A must-read from Joachim Buwembo in The East African. Buwembo notices that as the Ugandan shilling tanks, the value of the Ugandan vote is steadily rising, historically speaking.
Today, he says, a vote — allegedly bought at $30 in some places — is worth 300 times its 1996 value (though I haven’t done any discounting).
Buwembo points out that market forces have beaten back brute thugs for election influence, recalling nastier days when some supporters faced down physical assault and observing those tactics have given way instead to monetary methods of persuasion. (Oh, you free market libertarians, time to swoon!) There appears to be some elasticity in the supply, too, if one trusts Buwembo’s cross of voter registration numbers with census data.
But speculators, calm down. There’s one small problem: The election calendar.
“It is a pity votes are not traded the whole year round,” Buwembo remarks. “Otherwise it would have made good sense to store your wealth in votes and watch it appreciating while the shilling depreciates.”