05 November 2007

The articles are captured from the original writer, MsMarina (with her permission). SambalBelacan is just compiling articles to make easier to find. Any comments received will remain un-respond because it's not mine.Reach her at her very own blog at
http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com Please.
Wednesday October 24, 2007

Winning votes soul-ly on talent

Jindal, a first-generation American from India to win the governorship of a traditionally conservative state like Louisiana speaks volumes for opportunity in the US for talented people with a penchant for hard work.


I READ on Monday morning that Bobby Jindal, the American-born son of Indian immigrants was elected Governor of Loui-siana in the United States. A young two-term Republican Congressman, he is a conservative who became the first non-white Louisiana governor since 1870 after running on promises to end political corruption, cut taxes and improve schools.

We cannot know how Bobby Jindal will do just yet, but I am intrigued by his win. The fact that a first-generation American from India could win the governorship of a traditionally conservative state like Louisiana speaks volumes for opportunity in the US for talented people with a penchant for hard work.

On TV I watched as all these little old white ladies shook his hand with great enthusiasm. He had replaced a white woman Governor who had been severely criticised for bungling rehabilitation efforts after Hurricane Katrina.

The fact that Jindal is very educated and had been a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford is definitely a plus point.

In Perak recently, the MB called for graduates to be selected as election candidates. That’s all very well but let’s hope they are real graduates and not the ones who get dubious doctorates from unheard of universities.

But we also know, having a degree from a prestigious university is no guarantee either that you’ll be a good politician or leader. For some people, entering politics is license to throw all that education out of the window in favour of the crassiest politically expedient slogans. Which makes them no better than the local village thug in my book.

Jindal also has a CV that is heavy on experience in public policy. For twelve years he successfully managed Louisiana’s health and hospitals department, sought to reform their Medicaid system and then went on to the Federal Government to become Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of Health and Human Services.

All that experience brought to bear when he returned to his home state to enter politics where he successfully ran for election to the US Congress twice. So he’s not a parachute Governor by any stretch of the imagination, despite his young age.

I have to sigh when I read about Bobby Jindal. When faced with the dimwits we have in Cabinet and Parliament, I have to feel depressed.

Are we ever going to hear our politicians say, as Bobby Jindal did in his victory speech: “One thing I know for sure, you can get a distorted view sitting in the halls of government. Things start to look different.

“The lobbyists begin to look larger and the people begin to look smaller. Reality becomes distorted. I’ve seen it in Congress as well. I’m not going to let that happen to me.”

Or this: “I have said throughout the campaign that there are two entities that have the most to fear from us winning this election - One is Corruption, and the other is his sidekick Incompetence. If you happen to see either of them, please let them know the party is over.”

Now this is no opposition politician speaking. He’s in the same party as George W. Bush. But all the same, he’s talking about corruption and incompetence generally, not corruption and incompetence only if they’re by anyone not in the same party. Is it any wonder that I find it refreshing?

It would be really great if we could only scrutinise all our political candidates closely before they stand for elections. We should be able to ask them what their stand is on many issues such as the Constitution, freedom of speech and of religion, on women, on the judiciary. They can have whatever opinion they want but whether we agree or not is what will decide whether they get our vote.

Instead we have to vote on what party the candidate is from, rather than the individual him or herself. That’s maybe OK for the truly useless candidates but for those who do have some integrity and talent, it must be a bit insulting.

I’m sure there are people out there dying to showcase their talents and ideas and market those ahead of the next elections. But they won’t get much of a chance because there is no room for individuality in our system, especially not individual integrity.

I read an article the other day about how campaigns by candidates with real integrity in the US get taken over by the party political marketing de-partments so that they become moulded into the type of candidate that the party wants them to be.

Some of them become successful politicians but with the sacrifice of their own souls. Those who cannot hack that loss of personal integrity eventually quit politics altogether.

Guess that isn’t a problem when we start off with soul-less politicians anyway.