Politics has been described with different names both positive and negative. They include; Politics is a dirty game, Politics is a zero-sum game, there is no morality in politics etc. Sometimes we described politics in line with the state of our emotions. When we win in an election, it is a force for good, when we lost in an election whether through rigging or landslide; it becomes a dark page in our book of life. There are numerous accounts by leaders and politicians around the world on how the travelled in murky and dangerous road of political power, some stories where able to make a good or bad news on the global stage.
A good example is the Obama 2008 Presidential victory. Some political victories never make headlines in the print, audio or tele-media. The wave of the victory only resides with the vicinity where the victory or defeat occurred. Sometimes the most popular candidate lost and the whole thing ends up in boring tribunal processes, while some re-claimed their victory after series of tribunal process. Economic civilization, technology and education have transformed our views and even answers concerning political power, human right and national identity. Political Media Complex or Political Industrial Complex in our contemporary life has made politics a lucrative business for those in the media industry. Fake News, Hate Speech, Gender Power and Politics, E-Voting are some of the new political terminologies that has refined our perspective and philosophy on what politics and power mean to humanity in a conscientious society.
A COMPLEX GAME
Politics a complex game it is, in an attempt to gain the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket to contest the Federal House of Representative seat for the AMAC/Bwari constituency in Abuja, Nigeria, Mrs. Ayisha Osori, a very popular and prolific writer, activist and NGO expert lost at the contest, it was an experience minced with frisson and that led her to publish a book “Love Does not Win Election (2017)”. If we are to throw a philosophical perspective on the Weah-Taylor brilliant landslide victory at the December 2017 run-off in the Liberian general election; we will say indeed, sometime love does win election. Because at a point, it was crystal clear that the victory defines the peoples love and hope for the presidential candidate to deliver an inclusive development agenda that which will bring to fruition- a radical project for a new Liberia.
At the forefront of both the behaviouralist and post-behaviouralist revolutions in the discipline of political science during the 1950s and 1970s, David Eaton provided the disciplines most widely used definition of politics as the authoritative allocation of values for the society. Policy analysts have utilized his five-fold scheme for the studying the policy-making process: input, conversion, output, feedback and environemnt. (Gunnell, 2013) Dalton and Klingenmann (2013) asserts that, there has never been a richer opportunity to study the choices of citizens across regime forms and between old and new democracies. The conditions to arrive at a theory of how citizens come to political choices depending on different political settings, and how these choices affects the settings, have never been better than they are today.
CELEBRITIES AND POLITICS
It will rather sound unconventional if politics should be a strictly professional affair for a celebrity from any discipline to take a giant leap into active partisan politics. But because fame and public reputation is a functional ingredient in the life of any politician, then it gives celebrities a positive comparative advantage when they step into the party-political arena to support an aspirant or vie for a political seat. Every politician tries to build or polish his or her image so as to attract public admiration. The more the number of people you have admiring your leadership qualities, the more your chances of winning the contest for power at whatever tiers in government.
Since winning election is a game of numbers, then a celebrity running for a seat in government will surely pose as a threat to other contenders especially if they are career politicians. What will trickle down the influence of the popularity of a celebrity in a political contest is if the leader(s) he or she is contesting along with is also a leader with influential public reputation for example, Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama. These leaders control enormous public reputation and global popularity, that a celebrity contesting against them during their reign might be an unsuccessful contest. This is a critical political behaviour question. In a democratic system, you do not force the love of a candidate or leader into the minds of the populace; it now becomes a difficult nut to crack to evaluate and infused into the minds of the people, the value of credibility and moral decency of a personality in a political setting.
Because if we are to completely import moral decency to serve as a benchmark or evaluation tools of whether A or B is qualified to run for office or not, then its so obvious some celebrities will lose out. But in some emerging democracies, especially of Africa; number and popularity are among the two most powerful tools everyone needs to lay a good foundation for a successful bid for an elective office. Other supporting qualities include educational background, family ties, finance, charisma and international experience etc.
Excerpts from the forthcoming book, “George Weah: A Victory for Freedom” by Saidu Ahmed.. Published by ONG- CNRJ, France.