I have always wanted to be a politician. I have a deep sense of service. I want to make a difference. I don’t feel my life has any other meaning except to help others and to empower people to have a voice.
But, I will never ever choose a political path and in the last few days this has been confirmed for me.
I have seen how aggressive people are to and about their politicians, how they judge them, and how their personalities have been analysed and ripped to shreds. I will never put myself in a position for people to destroy my soul when they have never met me, don’t know me and have no idea what makes me tick – or even how things work.
There is not one politician in the Western world, who sits down and decides, “Which group of people can I tread on today? Which group of people do I need to make suffer?” You can dislike or even hate a politician, but can you honestly say this happens? Maybe in a dictatorship or in an authoritarian regime, but in a Western democracy? And I would like to point out, individuals do not have this kind of power in a democracy. A partocracy prevents this kind of behaviour and safeguards the represented population from leaders who may hope to be in a positon to tread on the people. There are also checks and balances to ensure that if they did behave like this they would be removed…and rather swiftly.
If you truly believe that politicians are ‘out to get’ a group of people, or don’t care about a portion of the population, then I believe you are blinkered and you are politically naïve. Decisions are made collectively by those in government (which were voted into office by the majority of the population) and in consultation with the opposition party and other representatives in government. When people say that politician A put this or that in the party manifesto…think again. No individual does that, ever! It is a party (a group of people) which decides on the manifesto, which has Think Tanks, working committees, specialists, party leadership and party members.
Political parties all have the same goal – to get into government. How do they get into government in a democracy? They are voted in by the people. How do they get the people to vote for them? They put proposals forward or policies in place to deliver services, protect the country and to develop international relationships on our behalf. Each political party has a different path to get to this goal – some parties focus on individual rights above the collective, others believe the labour force is the foundation and starting point for their work, some put the collective ahead of the individual. So the journey to getting into government for each party is different, but the ultimate goal is exactly the same. Make the people happy and they vote for you. No party deliberately makes people unhappy – why would people vote for them then? It makes no sense to believe they do this.
The media, commentators, know-it-alls, ‘couch’ politicians and everyone else all have an opinion – and thank goodness we live in a country where we can, but before you decide that politician A or B or C is a certain kind of person, think about this:
- Every decisions is made, not in isolation, but considering and taking into account many many other aspects and circumstances
- Imagine how you would cope in the same circumstance knowing you would be damned if you did and damned if you didn’t. Take a step back and think clearly, not emotionally, why that politician is saying, or proposing something. Nothing is clear-cut, nothing is black or white.
- We do not have all the facts to hand – remember we do not sit in offices and behind closed doors when these issues are being debated, discussed and then ultimately decided on. We are not specialists and, we do not know all the implications or factors that influence, determine or justify political decisions. We, the populace, have elected people to do this for us. Politics, in itself, is also a specialism.
- Image that politician is your father, your mother, your sister, your brother. In their personal lives they too are parents, children and have friends – how dare we decide they are a certain type of person when we have never met them.
- Think about this – many politicians could do any other job earning much more money. Contrary to popular belief, politicians do not earn loads of money. They have chosen to represent the people, for less money, work many more hours and put themselves in the firing line from the public. All to make a difference and because they feel strongly about certain issues. Would you do this?
- Politicians have traditionally and historically been from the elite classes. This has changed – yes it has! The parliamentarians and political leaders we have today have come from all levels of society – yes, some are from money – but that’s what society is – some have money, some don’t. Why is this a problem? And why does money make you a nasty person? Can someone help inheriting money? Why is someone bad for working hard, employing people and becoming rich? Why does an expensive education make you untrustworthy or evil? I would prefer a well-educated person representing me in a complex society and a complicated world, who really gets it, than someone who has no idea. Wouldn’t you? (This really has nothing to do with money, but everything to do with knowledge, passion and intelligence). I don’t understand how these things all work, and if someone has more knowledge than me – please represent and lead, please negotiate for me and on my behalf, because I really do not have the information, expertise and know-how to do it myself.
- Put yourself in their shoes for a day – and tell me you would make a different decision.
- Politicians are human beings – they feel what we feel – rejection, pain, frustration, passion, anger, happiness, fulfillment, love, fear, confidence or a lack of.
Now, I am not saying, don’t have an opinion – but have an opinion or a belief about the politics, the journey to the goal or the decision, but be fair to the person. If you are passionate about individual rights, align yourself with the party that has policies which lead towards the goal that put the individual first. If you believe in the collective above the individual, consider a party that does the same.
Remember, every country has a government they deserve – if you aren’t happy with your current government, make sure you vote them out next time. If you are in a dictatorship, rally the people to rise up against the oppressors. And if you have a strong opinion about how the politicians are handling an issue with what they are doing – stand! Stand for political positions. I am sure, under your leadership, things will be so much better.