CORD leader Raila Amollo Odinga was CORD’s flagbearer with Stephen Kalanzo Musyoka as his running mate. CORD and Jubilee were the only major parties with Amani Coalition coming a distant third followed by other smaller parties. The citizenry choose people who they want to hold office through elections especially in representative democracies. In order to establish the basic philosophy and ideas of President Uhuru and CORD leader, party affiliation provides the quickest criterion. From the onset, I want to asset while the ‘tribal equation’ plays a great role, ideological differences are present albeit blurred.
CORD believes that people are responsible for their own place in the community. The state should therefore enable them secure societal benefits for themselves and their families. To realize individual prosperity, government intervention should be limited. Government should intervene only in certain cases where a community cannot work at individual level. Individuals possess their own destiny in their hands. That is why any attempt by the Jubilee government to curtail individual rights such as freedom of speech has been met with strong opposition. Resources and government power should be close to the citizenry through their community and county leaders and not in centralized devolved government agencies.
While the Kenyan constitution stipulates that over 15% of the national revenue should go to county governments, Mr. Henry Rotich announced that the national government allocated 43%. This was highly disputed by Council of Governors chairperson H.E. Isaack Ruto who claimed that the Treasury was trying to hoodwink Kenyans since the formula used in national finance allocation was unconstitutional since it was not based on the previous year’s audited financial statements as stipulated by the constitution. The deployment of 47 County Commissioners by President Uhuru has also be thought to derail devolution. CORD claims the constitution calls for the reconstruction of the provincial administration and not a ‘mere renaming’ authored by Jubilee.
On the other hand, Jubilee believes that the government has the ultimate responsibility of taking care of every individual. This requires them to give up their individual rights to the state and/or subordinating initiative and enterprise. Jubilee supports power centralization in Nairobi. County- level interventions should replace the community-based solutions as far as community problems are concerned. This way, Jubilee has implemented certain unpopular actions such as payment of Angloleasing. Jubilee argues that this will bolster Kenya’s credit rating and further help in debt financing activities. CORD has even claimed that Jubilee intent is based on the need to ‘gag’ the media.
CORD root for free enterprise to yield innovations and economic growth. Government should assist in the creation an enabling business environment that give people the freedom to utilize their talents. Conversely, Jubilee argues that the complexity of the economy cannot allow the state to leave it to individuals to steer alone. Government officials should guide business decisions and in labor unions’ best interests.
While CORD aims at elimination of government waste and cutting of government spending, Jubilee argue that the government understands the interests of the people best and that should increase public spending on the citizenry. Consequently, the 2014/2015 Kshs. 1.8 budget represented an increase in public expenditure. CORD postulate that individuals should control not only their own pocketbooks, but also that of their government. The citizenry should sanction tax increases. Thus, CORD opposed the implementation of the new VAT regime introduced by Jubilee. Jubilee on the other hand believe that County Commissioners understand the society’s needs better than locally elected councils. The definition of tax burden rests with the county government to enable it meet its huge obligations.
Jubilee supports increase in expenditure on national defense. They prefer defense to opulence. Defending the nation against foreign attacks requires commitment, modern armaments, best-equipped and best-trained military across the globe. Jubilee believes character strength in acting alone where necessary and collaboratively where possible is vital for the Kenya as the East Africa’s economic giant. After assumption of office, Jubilee believed should fight terrorism beyond its territory if it is to prevent its citizenry at home. Thus, withdrawing the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers in Somalia was never contemplated. Contrariwise, CORD has called for a scale down in military expenditure as well as military intelligence. Negotiations with other foreign nations are instrumental to true security, even when they harbor financial ties with terrorist groups. CORD has even called for withdrawal of KDF soldiers from Somalia.
CORD contends that the Kenya is endowed with immigrants looking for better lives. In most cases, immigrants flee from oppression and violence searching for freedom and peace. They suffer and sacrifice hoping for better lives for their posterity in Kenya. Kenya is rich with diversity, energy, and determination of immigrants. Following immigration policies and laws is important in securing the Kenyan borders. CORD believe that since Kenya is the regional powerhouse, it has the responsibility of providing unconditional comfort and aid to other nations’ citizens. CORD root for unconditional amnesty and open borders. Laws should be curtailed to provide any non-emergency assistance as well as any legal identification forms to foreign nationals. Jubilee has endeavored to restrain immigrants and refugees in camps especially with the rise in insecurity in Kenya.
Due to the nature of the Kenyan electoral system, third parties cannot succeed in presidential elections. A candidate is deemed to have won a presidential election by gaining plurality, that is, 50+1 percent. This has yielded a winner-take-all political system. This has made CORD and Jubilee woo third parties. Moreover, voters consider voting for third party candidates as ‘wastage’ due to the low likelihood to win. Again, most third parties are organized around one issue or single personality. This decreases their popularity among the voters. While these two warring political parties were thought to bring political stability enjoyed by two party systems, this has not been the case. With a partly one year in office, CORD is exerting immense pressure on Jubilee government by calling for National Dialogue before July 7, 2014 failure, which CORD has warned of consequences and CORD leader threatened to call for mass actions.