Lok Satta Junction

For better governance in India.

Idealism is not enough to win elections

with 2 comments

For Loksatta to become successful, it should be able to attract ambitious and motivated people. Goodness in heart or empty idealism is just not good enough to become leaders. They need courage, drive and a great desire to bring upon change. Winning an election requires selfishness and great ambition – the quality which drives all individual achievement. That which induces the extra bit of commitment to win the race.

Who are Loksatta candidates running against?

  • Candidates who typically invest a lot of their own personal money in elections. A lot more is at stake with these candidates and that is an indicator to how ruthless they can be to win an election.
  • Having spent so much, these candidates expect much more in returns running into several crores over a period of just 5 years. Such potential personal profit is an indicator of how aggressive they can be to win an election.
  • A potentially lucrative and powerful long term political career with the established parties. It is this promise which drives them towards success in an election.
  • Most of the candidates are typically high risk-takers who don’t care for a regular job either because they have loads of money or they are incapable of one. They spend their entire time in party politics.

On the other hand, who are typical Loksatta candidates?

  • Idealists: they want to do something good for the society. They have a regular job and only marginally affected by any politics. Good education, job and family. Risk-averse.
  • Social workers. Not ambitious. Mild-mannered.
  • No promise of lucrative long term career in the party. Difficult to attract a full-time cadre. Some are novices in politics testing waters.
  • Some use the party for its novelty factor, before they move on to greener pastures (read traditional parties).

And ultimately, people do not yet vote on issues. (The only exception is when the prices rise, they vote for the other side which is different only in name. Not that they have a solution. It’s just a punishment for the existing side.) As JP says, “A majority of people continued to believe in hero worship without appreciating each one is a hero in his own life. That’s why the Lok Satta’s call to people to grab the opportunity for self-rule as detailed in its manifesto did not click. Voting based on political parties’ policies and programs is yet to take root.”

Loksatta party needs to seriously introspect on how to attract ambitious people in its ambit. Without the promise of a lucrative career, such people who can work full-time will be hard to find. However, the promise of a long political career which has the potential to significantly alter the course of modern India is an interesting bait which will work if the party can show some visible results in the coming few years.



Written by jujung

November 26, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Posted in Ideas, Loksatta, politics

2 Responses

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  1. It is quite humorous situation that your party is thrown into these days. You try to woo the Lok Satta admirers and political aspirants to take the stand of the people of other parties that you intensely criticize for being opportunistic and selfish.
    Where is this going to end??
    I don’t think it is hard to guess.


    February 28, 2010 at 3:59 AM

    • Probably you should try to read the full post. Here, the ambition is for the potential of being the architects of a rejuvenated India. Not the ambition to loot and become the richest person!


      March 13, 2010 at 7:12 AM

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