Why shun the ballot for a path to anarchy, death and destruction?

Four days to a historic poll, Kenya’s institutions, processes and constitutional architecture are braving extreme political winds to a momentous constitutional moment.

Just like a spring whose extension is directly proportional to the force applied on it so long as the elastic limit is not exceeded, so it is in political systems and constitutional architecture.

The forces buffeting our national fabric are extreme and have come to a head in the last couple of months. Have we exceeded the elastic limit of our constitutional spring? Is our spring resilient enough to compress back to its shape after all this?

My reasoned submission is that so far so good. Our spring has not exceeded its elastic limit and we do not have either a political or legal crisis.

All our real contestations thus far, however shrill, have fallen within the framework of the Constitution. An election was contested in a manner that was considered exemplary by many and with the endorsement of all observers - local and international. In discharging its mandate, the Supreme Court gave out its decision our agreement or disagreement with it notwithstanding.

The withdrawal of the candidature of Raila Odinga is within his democratic rights. Calling on IEBC to put in place processes and procedures to further secure the integrity of the vote is also within the democratic rights of NASA.

Parliament’s wisdom to respond to electoral policy gaps and the minority party’s wisdom or lack thereof in boycotting the process are both within the four walls of our constitutional framework.

So far, we have not acted out of the constitutional line. We should feel encouraged by this and keep the faith in our Constitution to the very end. The temptation to rapture the constitutional order is always high at times like this, but to what end? Uncharted territory of uncertainty, bloodletting, death and destruction?

Like Winston Churchill counseled, democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others. At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy, in the words of the same statesman, is the little man walking into the little booth with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper.

The silent majority in this country is the “little man” and the “little woman.” These are the millions who in their silence have kept off the mass protests and are craving an opportunity to show their approval or disapproval with state of things at the ballot.

Since we have the wherewithal, the institutions and the processes to listen to his account at the ballot, why would we shunt that opportunity and opt for the slippery stop of anarchy, death and destruction?

Our resilience as a people has been celebrated and cited the world over. On October 26, we have yet another date with destiny; to either underscore the maturity of our democracy or to rekindle the embers of the bloodletting of yesteryears.

And we do not have to take the latter route as there is no challenge or grievance that is beyond us to tackle within our constitutional order and without destroying the country.

- The writer is a legal adviser at the Presidency