Letters & Opinion

Political Attitudes

Politicians and parliamentarians are just as good or bad as the people who put them in power, as well as the ones who don’t. A common attitude that voters have toward the victory of a political party which they did not support is one that calls for failure. Rather than wish the present administration the very best, they desire instead to see it crumble so as to satisfy their reasons for not supporting it. This attitude stems from one’s yearning to prove that one is right. But if being right is proven by wrong being done; then it is better to be wrong than right (providing that the wrong is proven in the right). It is this same attitude which hinders voters from criticizing the party which they support, especially when such party makes disgraceful blunders in public office. We need to be fair and objective in our attitudes toward all government ministers, whether we support them or not, in order to encourage them to be truly responsible and accountable for their actions.

We the people have been one-sided for too long in blaming ourselves for the shortcomings of our politicians. When a minister does wrong, you often hear the remark, “Not y’all dat put dem there!” The truth is- we all put them there (directly or indirectly). If we must elect either Jack or Jill, the fact is one of them will win. It does not matter whether one voted for neither Jack nor Jill; for one does not need to participate in an election in order to partake in a democracy. If all supporters of a particular party lose faith in their party and decided not to vote when supporters of the alternative party are casting their ballots, then the alternative party will always win. It will still be a democracy, but within this democracy, you may find an autocracy. Democracy gives us freedom and with this freedom, we can choose not to vote, but democracy and the freedom it gives us can be withdrawn by the withholding of votes. It is perhaps an impossible scenario, but it is interesting to see how democracy can be destroyed by the very values that it stands for.

So… it is irrelevant whether we voted or not, support the government or not; the fact is we each have a responsibility to ensure that our politicians assume the responsibility that we have allowed them to take up. And that we allow them to take it up whether we supported them in doing so, or failed to oppose them in doing so. Again, we need to be fair and objective in our attitudes to our ministers in order to make them accountable, duty-bound and professional in their service to this country. We need to be fair and objective so these ministers know, no matter which party is in office, that their wrongs cannot be concealed behind the red or yellow colours of their political parties.

We should support the politicians of our choice without prejudice or bitterness toward one another. But when the election is over, we must come together and keep watch over the works of our ministers with unbiased eyes. It is the duty of the opposition, whoever they are, to ensure that we keep a watchful eye. It is important for us as a developing nation to foster a mature attitude for stable growth. Societies with mature attitudes and dispassionate mindsets toward their leaders are natural repellents for unprincipled and dishonourable politicians. We must remember always that politicians exist not for our support, but in order to support and safeguard the values we aspire to; for our values as a united people mean more than blind allegiance to political parties.

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