overheard one day:

people wonder why the younger, smarter generation refuses to step up and take the helm in politics. after all, they are the ones who have had higher education, some overseas, and they have great ideas on how to improve the way this country works. well, i have some insight into this.

when i was in politics, i realised that there are several distinct groups of politicians. first, the ones who are in it for the power. they are unscrupulous, with no principles of their own. as long as it’ll make them popular, they’ll do or say it. secondly, the ones who are in it for the money. you wanna talk about corruption? those people are the epitome of greed. and lastly, the ones who sincerely want to make a difference. they’re willing to work hard in order to make people’s lives better and to improve “the system“.

unfortunately, there’s a problem. the third group of people, being neither power- nor money-hungry, are neither powerful nor rich. as a consequence, they are unable to implement the policies they want to implement. also, they tend to be rather honest fellows who would try every other means of achieving their plans instead of, well, passing an official a nice, fat wad of cash (which they are unlikely to have, anyway) or finally claiming an owed favour from a friend who is “higher up“.

also, the longer they are in politics, the more they come to realise that having altruistic intentions gets you no praise. people will criticise you, write newspaper articles about you, argue with you during meetings…regardless your decisions were right or wrong. eventually, they see their corrupt peers climbing the ladder at the same pace, or faster than, they are and they become tempted to think, “i get lambasted whether or not i engage in anything illegal, i get abused by my countrymen whether or not i make decisions in the interest of this nation. so why should i continue being poor? it’s all not very worth it, is it?

after which they go down the path of corruption or they just stop fighting for what they believe in.

it was one of the reasons i left politics before i got in too deep to get out.

the younger, smarter generation knows this. to them, their skills and talents are better used outside the political arena. why bother with the mess that is politics when they could earn money, power and honest respect doing something else? sure, it means they don’t get a say in the real decisions that shape the country, but at the very least they have the vote and they have the cash.

can you blame them for staying away?


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