Saturday, March 2, 2024

New Year resolutions to help our politicians become better representatives of the people!

There is growing widespread revulsion towards politicians, culminating with some very influential personalities in society publicly stating that they have very low opinion of politicians across the party divide.

Voters have also become very critical of most politicians, characterizing them as skillful scammers who are lacking in a lot of mature emotions and standard restraints expected from adults.

Politicians are portrayed in bad light as the least trusted people in society, ill-disciplined vagabonds who are unwilling and unable to regulate their toddler-like behaviors.

In effect, most of today’s politicians have an extremely bad reputation as crooked opportunists and this is not about critics’ selective memory that focuses only on politicians’ baddest side, but it is a reputation that they have built for themselves over the years.

The upsurge in disparaging and shaming politicians mirrors a rapidly rising tide of anger at them and this is becoming a worrying trend with the potential to alienate voters and worsen the perennial problem of voter apathy.

While we do have some honest politicians, the reality is that most of our prominent politicians are scumbags; first class skunks who should never had run for political office.

Essentially, politicians are responsible for their declining reputation which is largely prompted by their entrenched habit of often talking as though they escaped from maternity wards immediately after birth.

Most politicians have a reputation for craving for confrontation and a yearning to thrive in chaos, often dwelling on personal scandals that have no relevance to the life of the voter. Relatedly, some seem too happy to desecrate their integrity for short term gains.

While this drama of politics gives the impression of people in action for a good cause, it has significantly affected the behavior of most of them and reduced them to attention-seeking, squealing thickheads who display immature emotions characteristic of people who have experienced difficult childhood.

Since there is overwhelming evidence that politicians are responsible for their declining reputation, it follows that they have to take voters’ sentiments seriously if they want to be accorded the respect befitting their status in society.

The integrity of politicians and of politics in general is under attack. Politics in general and politicians in particular are in the darkest moment as they have reduced themselves to entertainers known for stunts that make good for shebeen-level politics.

It is now a naked truth that the playful behaviors of most of our politicians has seriously compromised their public profiles to a point where they are characterized as distinguished heartless grave robbers.

Politicians are also losing their reputation for often taking decisions that seem to favor them first of all other groups in society, something which have convinced voters that these people are into politics solely for themselves and their families.

For instance, at the end of 2024, Parliamentarians were lampooned for granting themselves a hefty increase on their salaries and their many luxurious allowances when other workers in the public service have been told that there is no money to increase their salaries.

While it is public knowledge that as is the case with a majority of workers in Botswana, MPs salaries compares lowly with their counterparts in the Southern African region and much of the world, the fact that voters have lost trust in politicians means that any decisions they make in their favor is frowned upon however justified such could be.

The widespread sentiments that the politicians’ priority is to reward themselves irks a lot of voters who have come to brand politicians as rogues who we should trust at our own risk.

Such sentiments may be exaggerated but are having the effect of contaminating the public image of politicians across the party divide while also making voters lose confidence in politics in general as to designate it as a playground for demons.

Politicians have taken politics to depths that beat imagination. They have sunk to depths they may never emerge from owing to their lust to charm voters.

Given this scenario, what is prudent now is for politicians, especially those aspiring to run for political office in the 2024 general election to take a moment to reflect on the kind of politician they would want to become.

As leaders, politicians should make it their goal to style the right behaviours and embed trust and transparency as key components of their political business.

And this is more paramount for those intending to run for political office sooner or in the distant future.

A new year offers us, politicians included, a chance to look back at the events of the past year and look forward with renewed hope that we can do things differently and more so in the best interests of those who are most in need.

Thus, a new year should offer politicians a chance to start afresh; to pledge to tell the truth most of the time and lie less.

It should offer politicians an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and to commit themselves to talk more sense and to best serve the voters.

We all are familiar with the time honoured tradition of making New Year resolutions at the beginning of each year mainly as a commitment to do better and achieve more than the past year.

This tradition is anchored on some kind of random evaluation of our overall performance               who in the past year and a casual audit of who we are in order to inform our game plan that is envisioned to take us to the Promised Land in the coming year.

In the realm of politics and in recognition that the integrity of politicians is under attack and that politicians are principally to blame for their troubles, meaningful new year resolutions should be premised on helping these beleaguered public figures to restore their standing in society and get back to think about what best serves our communities and society at large.

A basic assumption in politics is that people elected as representatives have an obligation to put the public interests ahead of their own interests.

In this context, one way for politicians to lift their standing in society would be to do with how they can become better servants of communities and society in general.

It is also assumed that many politicians run for office intending to serve the public with diligence but go careering off course along the way due to a number of factors such are greed, self-preservation, peer pressure, and so forth.

Thus, in 2024 politicians should recommit themselves to going back to the crossroad in order that they do the right things and do them right if they want to be given the respect befitting people’s representatives.

Their key goal in 2024 should be to become role models for doing most things differently and for inspiring others to improve their quality of life. 

Across the party divide, dysfunction has become a norm and politics in general has become more like a spectator sport that glorifies delinquency hence there is just too much indiscipline that has unfortunately found its way into the public service and society in general.

For political parties to work and/or reclaim their place in national development; for government to be functional and dependable, people ought to trust the key players in the political chess game who are in actual fact the politicians.

It is thus imperative that in 2024 politicians resolve to commit to re-building a relationship with the voters and restoring public trust in themselves if they are to expect citizens to rally behind them in the conduct of public affairs.

Politicians must also resolve to embrace the other side’s point of view in order to explore viable solutions to address challenges facing our people, remembering that they bear an obligation to serve the people.

The habit of shooting down proposals and suggestions just because they come from the other side of the chamber is just primitive, dumb and ridiculous and project politicians as prominent members of the least developed group of mammals.

True leaders use the power and privileges they have to seek solutions to the problems enveloping their people rather than to shame their competitors and show voters the middle finger.

Politicians must also pledge to change their tone and stop blaming others for their political misfortunes when they know that they are their own enemies.

Many backbenchers have reduced themselves to cheerleaders especially those from the ruling party and this is far beneath the dignity of their status in society. This has to change and it can only change if politicians make a resolution to take themselves seriously in order to set themselves apart from participants at a monkey cheer contest.

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