HANDLING POLITICAL SUCCESS & DEFEAT IN EQUAL MEASURE- Fela Rotimi

In African

HANDLING POLITICAL SUCCESS & DEFEAT IN EQUAL MEASURE.

It's often stated that success amasses a rainbow coalition of fathers, whilst failure would for-ever be an orphan. The true measure of a politician is not when you win an election; the bigger picture emerges when failure knocks. The manner by which your thoughts are galvanized, to dust yourself down, learn the real lessons of failure, get back to the drawing board to re-strategise & re-discover the politician in you; all have roles to play in your comeback. So, the sweet scent of success propels those who fail to make the cut; whilst the ultimate fear of failure haunts those who make the cut to be better & better.

The just concluded general elections in United Kingdom is a political lesson of sorts for us ; coming on the heels of the earlier concluded Nigerian elections. The three political leaders that resigned within 24hrs of election results did so for varying reasons that demonstrated tip-top high political responsibilities.

Ed Miliband – the Labour leader had to sacrifice himself as main opposition candidate that lost the major election. Nick Clegg – the Deputy Prime Minister & leader of Liberal Democrats'; had to step-down as his party lost a wave of seats, reducing in status from partner, to fringe minority in parliament. Nigel Farage – the United Kingdom Independent Party leader had to resign because during campaigns; a journalist casually asked whether he would step-down as leader if he failed to win a seat in parliament ? He answered in the affirmative; so when he lost in his constituency, his fate was sealed. These are demonstrations of political awareness, political party crisis damage limitation & affirmation of undiluted integrity.

Lessons for our polity are that if you are lucky to be on the ballot, just pull all stops & make it count with an eventual win. A loss must be interpreted as not good enough, or careless with campaign strategy, or not yet Uhuru. Party leadership places huge trust, such that if your party looses by such a degree that party representatives reduce in numbers; heads have to roll.

Party manifestos during campaigns should be treated as cast in stone, so if you win; deviation from your programes, after-thoughts of excuses or inability to deliver as promised; should be treated as cardinal sins of seeking office by deception. So during campaigns, every word has to be scripted & choreographed with zero tolerance for minor or major gaffes that may later embarrass the party.

Responsibility for political party success or failure must not be shouldered by candidates alone; for that would be grossly unfair. Party executives play a big role not just in emergence of candidates, but also in campaigns. They are there to groom, advice about local constituency issues & must also have a big stake in success of the team. So, if a candidate fails to make the cut, party executives are also guilty by association & deemed to have failed in discharge of their duties. In other words, the entire augean stables have to make way for a fresh team with new concepts, new thinking, new ideas & new strategies.

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