This post is loosely inspired by the TATA Tea ad where this politician goes to ask for votes and a voter asks him for his qualification and work experience the the important 'job' that he is embarking upon. The politician laughs at the voter, asking him what job is the voter referring to. The voter responds, "The job to run the country".
Do politicians in other countries view politics as a profession? Or is politics viewed similarly across international boundaries? The best way of course to find out is go to that ever useful tool for professionals - LinkedIn.
Here are the results:
The apparently technologically challenged Senator John McCain.
I also came across many politicians, prime ministers who have LinkedIn profiles. While having a LinkedIn profile is not a certificate of a person character, one has to appreciate the intent. Reach out to masses, and more importantly, take politics as a profession. Successful leaders, political and otherwise, have a common thread that binds them - their keenness to reach out to masses of different classes.
Unfortunately, in India, this does not seem to be the case. Today, every party can be clearly defined to the class they owe their loyalties to. The SP to the Muslims, the BSP to the Dalits, the Congress and BJP to the upper class and so on. I read an article on IBNLive.com which mentioned that Mayawati lacks the Pan-India appeal. My question is, do the national parties have a pan-India outlook? Unfortunately, the answer is No. And that is why, this election will mark the lowest ebb in indian politics, and will be the highlight of the failure of democracy owing to divisive politics by parties, with a clippered outlook.
The BJP has been actively and aggressively campaigning off the TV sets while on the TV set, they have been bickering. Advani's website looks fresh, an investment clearly aimed at targetting the younger voters, also borrowed from Obama. SMS campaigning is in full spree as well. While I strongly believe that the BJP have the wrong candidate for the PM's role, atleast the attempt to reach out to young evident voters is evident. This probably marks a paradigm shift from the previous elections. The Congress, despite its hoard of young politicians, has very mediocre websites, and there is a clear lack of innovative thinking in their election campaigns. They came up with ads for different ministries, but what is new in that? By buying the rights to 'Jai Ho' song, I am not really sure, whom are they targetting. The third front is a joke, and I shall not waste my time expecting them to campaign with any issues except Congress-BJP bashing.
What made the US presidential elections special was Barrack Obama's effective use of technology, which was reciprocated by McCain's camp. Both parties had national issues, which had to be answered. Solutions and strategies were explained to laymen. That is professionalism. And that is precisely what is lacking in Indian Politics.
We ape the west in every possible sense. Why can't we ape them as far as the professionalism in politics is concerned? If not a LinkedIn Profile, atleast a blog that outlines strategies. Post 2009 elections, both national parties will rework their strategy towards regional politics. But, at a time when there has been record number of new voters, a hung parliament can take us many years back.
It will be interesting to see how Indian Politics evolves from this!