Sunday, September 27, 2009

Comparisons and Musings

There are many similarities between the government of Mozambique and that of the United States. For instance, both systems are based on an electoral process in which the majority elects heads of state and representatives. Both countries have Presidents in the highest seat of power. However, in the case of Mozambique, Ministers are elected by the President…much like nominations to seats in the President’s cabinet here in the U.S. Thus, the Prime Minister of Mozambique is chosen by the President. It can be assumed that both will be from the same party, which highlights one source of bias in future policy making, etc. Mozambique also has direct Presidential elections, where the votes of the public are counted and the majority determines a winner. This is different from the Electoral College used in the U.S. and other countries as a means for an institution to vote for what the larger public has been shown to favor. I have to say that the Mozambican structure of direct election seems more appealing. Under this policy, a citizen can feel more like their votes counted and were significant to the election results. A middle party, such as the Electoral College, dilutes the influence each vote has on the percent of the population that supports each candidate.

I hope that I am making more progress. Initially, I was wary to participate in discussions during meetings. I felt as if I were handicapped in the sense that I do not have as strong of a political science background as other students in the class. However, I understand that this is a learning experience and the opportunity of a lifetime. Staying positive! We have been checking and double-checking all travel requirements for our trip in October. My immunizations should be relatively up to date, and our papers will be processed soon enough. Everything is happening so fast, I can’t believe it will be only a few more weeks!

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