Tuesday, February 2, 2010


“Let us point out too, that in the election campaign in general, and in concluding electoral agreements at the higher stages, the Social-Democrats must speak simply and clearly, in a language comprehensible to the masses, absolutely discarding the artillery of erudite terms, foreign words and stock slogans, definitions and conclusions which are as yet unfamiliar and unintelligible to the masses. Without flamboyant phrases, without rhetoric, but with facts and figures, they must be able to explain the questions of socialism and of the present Russian revolution.”

The Social-Democrats and Electoral Agreements, Vol. 11, p.294

We live in a country where god, country and the poor are in the minds of every politician (especially during campaign season). It is perhaps strange then that everyone generally agrees that our country is poor (maybe this is what they mean when they say they’re pro-poor?) and that government is inept and corrupt. The picture is obviously wrong so why are the same people in office time and time again?

Now that it’s election season once more, the same people are plastering their mugs all over television, proclaiming (often in song) their many virtues and promises. Our politicians, in their infinite skill and virtue, promise to provide us education, work, a house and lot and a partridge in a pear tree and that goes without mentioning the utter eradication of poverty. And they promise to do this all in one presidential term.

The logistic nightmare of solving all the country’s problems in one term aside, it does not take rocket science to realize just how unfeasible and unlikely these promises are. All these pretty words work in the short term. They try to make the voters believe that paradise is only one president away instead of years of ongoing and consistent reform.

Words are words. I long for the day when a politician decides to be realistic and frank. It won’t be what we’d want to hear, yes, but it would be what we so badly need.

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