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Pakistan Politics: Which of our politicians has the ‘essential ten qualities’?

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 A politician or member of parliament is basically a representative of his countrymen and his own family. History has countless evidences where almost all the major changes to take place on our planet, whether good or bad, have come due to the acts of politicians.

According to Vicki Bourne, a former Australian senator, a good politician needs ten qualities. The first quality of a politician is that he must be humble and know that there is no positional power. The politician must be aware of how little power he has individually and that true power is only a product of collective action. Vicki said the second quality of a politician is that he must be nice to others and keep people on his side for he may need their support at any time.

The third quality of a good politician is that he must be able to think strategically on how to effectively use the power he has. How can he get others to agree with him? Who will back him in any of his causes? What would be the ideal situation where everyone gains something?

The fourth quality is specialisation. A politician must be able to pick a topic that interests him and research it thoroughly. He should become one of the experts in parliament on his topic. He must make it so that others seek his point of view, publicly and privately, for this would give him considerable standing and influence.

Vicki said the fifth quality of a good politician is that he must have clarity so he can achieve his goals for the betterment of his nation and country. He must know what he wants to achieve from the time he is elected until the time that he is set to leave his office. He must pick objectives that are measurable. The sixth quality is that he should always stay updated on any and all issues that may come under discussion at any time.

The seventh quality is listening to others, which is one of the essentials of effective communication. The experience of others will probably differ from his and they may help him re-think his views.

According to the former senator, the eighth quality of a good politician is that he must learn how to say ‘no’ kindly and with respect, because sometimes simply saying ‘no’ is not that easy and a politician can never be sure on whose support he may require later. The ninth quality of a good politician is, understanding his institution, as the more he understands the rules of procedure and the traditions of parliament, the more he will be able to use these to achieve his goals. Similarly, the tenth quality of a good politician is that he must be able to earn respect and show his respect through his views and the manner in which he conducts himself.

Interestingly, Sir Winston Churchill had also defined a good politician by saying that “he needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year and have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen”.

So now we take a look at politicians in Pakistan. Do we have any among us who has all the aforementioned qualities? In our country, we have politicians who believe in their own ideologies, which end up fulfilling their own desires and seldom ever benefit the masses.

We have politicians who in some cases have made their way to the assemblies and parliament by using fake degrees. We have politician like Shumaila Rana, a former MPA, who was found guilty for shopping on stolen credit cards. We have politicians like Mian Aslam Iqbal, a former provincial tourism minister, who allegedly not only supported his brother in peddling drugs, but also scuffled with the SHO of the area concerned.

We have politicians like Balochistan CM Aslam Raisani, who in his infinite wisdom said “a degree is a degree, be it fake or authentic”.

The question arises as to why our politicians fail to follow in the footsteps of their counterparts from other countries. Why have they not tried to follow the examples of politician of the UK, Australia, and the US, who are always working for the betterment of their countries and get the respect of their voters.

If only we, in our country, gave greater importance to the word ‘merit’, perhaps then we would not be seeing the heart-wrenching ground realities that we see every day on our streets.

Courtesy: Daily Times\07\12\story_12-7-2010_pg7_33

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