I took two weeks to go back to the U.S. on vacation. I spent some time with my sister on Cape Cod, saw family and friends around Annapolis and Washington, checked out the status of my house (moving back in for a few months between posts) and ate a bunch of food that’s hard to get in Cotonou.
Back in Benin, round two (ding!) of the election process. Round one was the Presidential elections. Round two was the legislative elections.
Benin uses a somewhat confusing method for choosing its legislators. There are 80+ legislators from a bunch of different districts across the country. Legislators are elected by party, going on a party “list” in their home district. The number of parties varies from election to election. There were 16 this time around.
Here’s where it gets confusing. Let’s say a district gets four legislators, and there are 10,000 voters. To be guaranteed a seat, the party needs to get 10,000/4 or 2500 votes. Let’s say Party A gets 5000 votes, Party B gets 3500 votes, Party C gets 750 votes. Okay…Party A gets 2 seats and Party B gets one and who gets the last?
It depends on the remainder. Party A’s remainder is 0. Party B is 1000, and Party C is 750, so Party B gets the last seat.
Who gets those seats? The first two names on the party list. Who decides that? The party. How do they decide that? No telling. Best I can tell, no rules.
I’ve been very busy lately, but I took the time to help out my friends in the Peace Corps who are celebrating their 50th Anniversary. They put together a short video, and asked me to do the English language voiceover for it. That was nice of them, and it was fun to get behind the microphone again.
Coming up – Thanksgiving in May!