Sunday, January 19, 2014

Advice to novice politicians – put country before party,

 and then your electors and yourself only after them – You can then never go wrong. Learn from the lessons of lost vanity of your predecesrors if you want proof. 

I blogged last night about the fight for nominations, even though only a few get elected and billions will be waged on the fashion parade, of why me! I was just informed this morning of a real life incident, that culminated yesterday, the details of which I will now set out.

An Organizer we shall call Anal, as put forward Banal as his choice bypassing Canal, who is by any measure of integrity, the most suitable. The organizer has been advised that he can nominate 3 people from his electorate to contest in the Provincial Council Elections for the Western Provincial Council. He also happens to be an MP.

Up to this point, Canal had organized his whole campaign strategy, set aside the initial 25% of the expected cost, and had a fund raising plan for the remaining 75% using his trusted aides dedicated just for that role. He realized that during the campaign if he had to personally stress himself about this aspect also that would damage his prospects.

As a relatively young member who is also the seniormost member of his Pradeshiya Sabha, he already had a base, a reputation as a worker to start with and the ability to muster a team of 100 dedicated full time volunteers for his campaign. He studied the district and determined how many votes he must target from each of the electorates including his, to aim for at least twice the required votes he would need to get in.

In this game it is important NOT just to battle for the same voter base from one’s own party, the classic, incorrect and shortsighted goal of most seeking election, but from outside the traditional base, if one is to increase one’s chances, as well as the party’s chances to increase the total vote and increase the numbers of Members that could get elected, helping all those candidates to improve upon their chances. As a young member appealing to youth and who has helped numerous youth clubs with obtaining playing fields, a very tough search in the highly populated Western Province, makes him a darling of young people irrespective of party affiliation, and includes women voters.

It must be said that just the votes of those who have never before cast a vote at an election, can make the difference for a party from winning or losing he Western Provincial Council, reitierating the importance of the first time voter as well as an effective strategy to target that vote, and make headway with that population alone. Further he has a plan to convert the vote of his opposing parties to him, due to his ability to offer a more digestible alternative to the current status quo.  

This has not been and will never be a priority of the person who instead has received the nomination. This person who got the nod, in fact was one who has lost the same Pradeshiya Sabha badly and is clearly the less suitable candidate who is bound to lose badly, no matter how he perceives his chances.

So why has this asinine choice been made? One thing is certain that Anal fears competition in the future for his own longevity in parliament. After all if he wins the Provincial Council and with a good result, he would definitely be a contender for the next parliamentary election and is bound to take some preference votes that would go to Anal. The alternative person with no chance of winning is NOT going to be so privileged!

A further consideration is, the youth vote can be directed at younger contender in the Parliamentary Election, if he does not contest, or is not given the ticket due to the fear of competition. These two fears together means that he is intent on putting a loser with NO chance lest his future ambitions are checked!

The result of this action is that his party will get fewer votes, possibly even mean the loss of a provincial council member or two due to this personal goals taking precedence, and the party loses a god chance of winning the election as a whole. The latter because there are about 5 people doing the same thing when multiplied five times can add up to a lot of missed votes.

By this selfish action, Anal has prevented his party from winning the elections, thereby costing both his party and moreover his country a chance at an improved environment all around, and his community of being served more diligently, by a local boy who has already proved he can help his community.

Due to party rules giving Anal overriding control over who he permits, the rejected candidate has no choice but to accept the decision, and bite his tongue. This is why the country as a whole cannot have a visionary future, as those with a future are prevented by one living in the past. 

Steps must be taken to prevent this formula from destroying the future of a political party, and lessens the desire of the electorate to vote, when they see NO appealing candidates in the fray. It is a tragic end to democracy when such behavior is condoned.  

To repeat the subject, If you put country first and then your party, your tangible benefit will automatically flow to you, as spoils of war, and not just as a reallocation of  the losers crumbs, from which you may not even be able to survive.

We must identify these frightened reactionaries and consign them to the dustbin of history from whence they can never emerge. Amen  


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