27 October 2012

Both sides seem to campaign on the premise that voting for the other side means a dubious future. But what I would really like to know is how voting for any side would lead to a bright future.

SOMETIMES I am prone to wonder what politics, and politicians, are for. Are they there to make life better for us by leading us, or are they there for some other reason which has very little to do with us?
I ask this because despite the ever-shifting election date, there is no doubt that election campaigning has begun. Every day we get told by one side that voting for the other side is a very bad idea.
If we vote for one side, we are told, our lives will become even more miserable although it is neither clear how, nor why it would be even more than it is today.
The other side, on the other hand, then tells us that voting for the incumbent means more of the same misery.
What is beginning to be obvious to me is that if we vote for either side, we’ll wind up miserable. That’s hardly what I would call a choice.
The default setting for all our politicians, regardless of who they are, seems to be to automatically disagree with whatever the other side does.
Indeed one of our esteemed ministers was quoted to have said that it is the duty of those on his side of the bench to oppose whatever those on the other side says.
That, to me, sounds as if he is also saying ‘leave your conscience and your brain to one side and just do what you’re supposed to do’.
Which really makes me wonder where that leaves the rest of us.
We are wooed like reluctant lovers every five years with every conceivable goodie thrown at us by the incumbent.
The other side, not quite having the wherewithal, tries to persuade us that more of the same is not really what we want. They may be right but on the other hand they can’t really tell us what it is that we need either.
There are plenty of issues that I don’t trust either side on.
For a start, I don’t believe that either side is good for women, both being equally conservative. Neither side, for instance, has promised to put more women in ministerial positions.
In fact, neither has even mentioned that they would put more women candidates up for election, obviously thinking that this would mean fewer places for male ones.
Even if they did have women ministers, what’s the bet that they would still hold the ‘soft’ and ‘feminine’ ministries, like the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry or Tourism Ministry instead of the more prestigious ones like Finance, Education or Trade and Industry?
Both sides seem to campaign on the premise that voting for the other side means a dubious future. But what I would really like to know is how voting for any side would lead to a bright future.
In fact I’d like them to sketch out that bright future for us all, one where we would really be united, working towards some common goals. I’d like to be able to have some hope instead of all the doom and gloom that voting for the ‘wrong’ side will inevitably bring us.
Right now voting for anyone makes me feel like I’m caught between the proverbial devil and the deep blue sea.
It would be great if some of our political leaders would say “if I were elected, I would bring us all together because we have no time to be disunited.”
And really mean it, with real action instead of hiding behind sloganeering.
But why do we even leave our future in the hands of politicians?
A recent survey by a public relations company found that most people have very little trust in their politicians, corporations and media.
Yet we are still stuck in a system where the running of our country is still entrusted to the very people we mistrust.
Every day I find this making less and less sense. There are non-politicians who have much more common sense than the average YB. And really, do we need any special skill beyond common sense to run this country?
I guess what I wish is for normality to return rather than this hate-filled divisive climate that we have to endure these days.
If Mitt Romney’s campaign sounds like a war on women and anyone who isn’t white and rich, our election campaigns sound like a war on everybody, even though it is the same ‘everybody’ who has to vote our government in. If that makes sense, I don’t get it.
Maybe what we should do is instead of the political parties putting up candidates, we the people should just name whom we want and vote them in, regardless of affiliation.
I bet we’d really get a good team there.