Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Ladieeeeeeeeeeees and gentlemen......children of all ages......
While I was on the treadmill at the gym this morning I spent about half an hour watching the CNN broadcast of the American election campaigns. What a show! It is almost like a circus. Animals, clowns, jugglers, ring masters....
Well I guess most elections in any country in the world is like that. It's a big show. But there is something about the American version though. Of course, it is bigger, better, more glitzy than anyone else's. I mean not that our Malaysian elections, whenever they happen are any less of a show. But if we compare the two then I would say that the Americans are like a 3-ring circus. A huge Barnum & Bailey extravaganza while our more modest Pilihan Raya is more like a Royal London Circus la. It's there, you've seen it and you're not much inclined to go again. Know what I mean?
But while watching CNN's coverage of the American caucusses, primaries and what have you...I could not help but notice how 'INVOLVED' the American people are in their presidential elections. So I know la, like everywhere else, the puppet strings are being pulled by hidden masters but in the USA there is at least a show of the people's involvement. Every video they show. Every news report. Thousands of Americans. Out in force. Supporting the Republicans, the Democrats. American citizens in the process of determining who they want their leader to be. Electing the saviour of the Free World. Blah blah blah. Good show.
But here in Malaysia there seems to be a distinct lack of participation by the people in elections. Whether they are general elections or by-elections. Our elections all seem to be shows that only star the politicians of the ruling parties. Ever realise how little we the people count in our elections?
Sure they (the politicians) come out and court voters. But it is always about THEM not us.
Remember how WE got you this and that. Be grateful for what WE have done for you. WE have achieved so much for the country. So you must vote for US.
I remember listening to Hillary Clinton on CNN saying to her supporters after winning the New Hampshire primaries, "...I listened to you and in the process I found my own 'voice'...." What a good line. Can you imagine a Malaysian politician giving that credit to his electorate? Well maybe they do la but it would probably sound like this...".... I listened to you. But we must be sensitive, tolerant. Be mindful of our diverse cultures and all. May 13 you know? In other words...what was I saying already? Oh yes...vote for ME so that I can TELL you how to live and what to do. Okay?"
Real life Malaysians are ever only featured in elections when they are used as public relations props for the politicians. Babies to carry. Mak Cik's and Pak Cik's to pity or give some miserable few bags of biscuits or rice to etc. before the YB gets back into his Proton which will ferry him to his Mercedes Benz S500 which will zip him to KLIA to his/her 1st class seat to visit his son/daughter who is pursuing a degree in political science in Australia or UK or USA.............and so on and so forth.
Malaysian politicians should learn from the Americans how to put on a good show. Then maybe when we, the rakyat, get screwed we won't feel so bad. At least we had a good show.