Sunday, September 5, 2010

The paradox of elections

Just the other day, I was watching this live telecast of the elections for the Governor of the State of Nevada in the United States of America.

One of the candidates, Mr. Rory Reid, gave a high-sounding speech deserving of an enthusiastic applause. I will do this. And I will do that.

Something we keep hearing during election campaigns, I will do this much more. And I will do this as well! I will bring change! I will, I will, I will.. Does this "I will" translate - in a few years - to "Yes, I have"? History tells us, most of time - no. 

Barack Obama, current president of the United States, had courageously promised a list of tough tasks during the 2008 presidential campaign. America emphatically gave him presidency. 500 days later, there is growing resentment to his ways. People have begun being critical of him. Where I personally admire him, I think his promises were too herculean to be realistically met. Whats amazing is, when speeches are being delivered, when applauses are deafening, the power of the word - not action - is given most importance. By the time it comes to action, the expectations were always too high. Bloop bloop.

Hasn't this been happening in India, too? Where politicians come in all melodramatic emotion swaying the masses with their melodious rhetorics - coupled with free blankets and country liquor. While action, is an agenda ignored and lost in the euphoria of promises and words.

Perhaps this image of politicians is what has even detracted the Indian middle class from exercising the most simple - yet most powerful - power vested with them, by the constitution, of voting.

We have, by experience, been skidded into the thinking that politics is a dirty business and nothing can - or will - change. Period. Let me do my own business. Period.

This is a gene common to all - most - politicians across races, countries, and I'm sure if they have elections in the  animal kingdom, the animals have it too. The lion for instance, has the loudest - powerful - roar. But he just simply lazes around in the fields, sleeping and staring blankly in the open! 

Imagine, would your attention be taken by a politician or someone desirous to bring change even if he/she did not speak with the greatest of charisma, and did not promise to bring you rocks from the moon?

Would we, as the people, be any moved by such a leader who is modest in his/her goals and aims. I don't think so. Which is why, we're fed what we want to eat, big promises. We like hearing big. And we forgive lack of action, in the next speech which is just another round of big promises.

Keep an eye out for any candidate who isn't promising the stars. If he has a good track record, he/she might well be a deserving candidate who should be given a chance! (But first, do you vote?)