Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Survivor: How to Play Politics?

Survivor Cook Islands came to a dramatic end on SABC 3 last night, and with it came a fascinating look into leadership struggles. Part of me admits that the Survivor game of winning votes is different to real life, but then I pause to contemplate and wonder if politics is that different?

Let me clarify what I'm referring to. In the Survivor game show, the object of the game is not really to survive in the wilderness - it helps but it won't win you the game, as Ozzy and Terry of a different season can testify. The key is to get people on your side only for as long as you need them. There is a semblance of loyalty but it can be quickly put aside as the stakes rise.

Watching the game show, I'm sure that viewers have mixed views on this specific question: in the context of the game, is it okay to lie, deceive or betray? Many of you will say yes, and I understand your position. Personally, dishonesty violates me. I'm repulsed by it, and at the end of the show, I'd rather be known as the guy that everyone can trust and depend on.

Of course, in the game of real life, trust and loyalty are usually rewarded better than they are in a game show, except in politics. I would define politics as "the process of getting into power and retaining it". That in itself is not a bad thing if you have something genuinely good to offer. Rather, it's how that process is negotiated that has placed most politicians in the same bad books as lawyers.

And here is where I get to the point. I believe in a set of golden rules for the process of politics:

1) Be honest. Tell the voters what you stand for, what you intend to achieve and what you are capable of.

2) Be realistic. This is probably the toughest. Have tangible, observable results in mind when you shape your promises. And also accept that some missions are going to fail before you even start (especially when you don't hold a large majority).

3) Expect no reward. As Jesus said, true leaders wash feet. Nuff said.

My question to you is: do you believe a party can get into power just by being good? Is the Survivor game necessary, and if so, is it then justified?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How true!

DISCLAIMER: This blog serves as a commentary and the views presented are not necessary the official views of the ACDP. For official statements and contact details, visit: