Manufacturing inept people: Election process at fault

The less intelligent people are often very confident. The most intelligent people, on the other hand, not at all. This is the reason why we choose inept people because they are the ones that we most resemble

Albert Einstein once said: “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe!” Whoever does not know how to govern him or herself cannot govern the people. The current politicians do not know how to govern themselves. They are cunning, selfish, greedy, gluttons and even drunks, in some cases.

Why are politicians corrupt, inefficient and a bunch of liars? The short answer is simple. It is because they are allowed to be. Because it is free. There is nothing to control them. The greatest incentive for crime is politics, especially with an omnipotent government. Today political parties crave for power to satisfy their particular personal interests, not for the general interest.

Almost all political parties in Nepal are run by pseudo-intellectuals. Someone said this well: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

Political and social ethics for a political party is diverging towards an unknown direction. These political parties are run by people with an illusory superiority complex.

They are incompetent individuals who tend to overestimate their ability. A good organisation should be S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely). Few of them have any of those attributes. Honest and hardworking people like you and me have no stake in the political map.

These politicians are trying to play a game that they do not quite know how, and they have never mastered it, nor will they learn it. The paradigm is such that we do not have a better choice. There is hardly any profession that would have a worse social judgement than our politicians. Their names are tied with incompetence, corruption and dishonesty, but still a lot of people vote for them.

Since the first barter of a drachma with a vote in Athens more than 2,500 years ago, politicians have practised the well-perfected but rudimentary art of buying votes. Today, its incentives range from liquor, cash, food and clothing in exchange for votes.

As time goes by, buying votes can become a difficult phenomenon to eradicate. Citizens, especially the poorest and the most marginalised, may come to believe that cash before the elections is the only thing they get from an ineffective government. The result is a vicious circle.

Purchase of votes takes place where political parties fail to build a brand that convinces voters that they can trust their electoral promises.

The less intelligent people are often very confident. The most intelligent people, on the other hand, not at all. This is the reason why we choose inept people because they are the ones that we most resemble. We choose halfwits because we understand them when they speak. We choose them because they are the guarantees that there will no big changes because they are incapable of generating them.

Do not get me wrong, all politicians are not inept, but many of them are, and those good ones are hard to find, and no one listens to them. Our society manufactures idiots.

In a democracy, we are all politicians, and the worst thing about politicians is that they are very similar to those whom you have chosen.

Why does honesty not pay in politics? Let everyone draw their own conclusion according to their own cognitive bias. What is happening in Nepal is nothing more than a consequence of years of bad political practice. Idiots want idiots to rule them in a world of corruption, where they are free to shout out stupidities or complexes of race, class or gender.

In politics, there are several types of people. First, those who believe that their voters are stupid and those who think they are not. A good citizen has a vital role in a democracy.

We can be good citizens if we elect the right set of people to rule in a way the country can prosper.

Today we live in a world dominated by images and emotions, rather than any grand vision or realisable concept. Progress is not sustainable in a country where the highest positions of the policy are reached through a casting.

In politics, unlike in business, the price (value) of a vote is not fixed by the parties (companies), but by the voters (consumers).

The votes are the currency we use to “buy” the candidates (products) that meet our expectations. Based on the Election Commission, there were 14,054,482 voters during the local election, and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) allocated Rs 20 billion for it.

About 73 per cent cast their vote. So one vote cost approximately Rs 1949.36.  This is just an economic cost. What about the long-term social and political costs? For a country with brutal inequality, corruption, repression and inefficiency, there is a need of a greater debate about the price of democracy.

We continue to suffer this form of politics, always based on silly schools of thought. Whoever runs the show, all they do is follow political monism. Monism leads to extremism, and it is often the consequence of fundamentalism.

Conspiracy is not new to the political landscape in Nepal. So the million-dollar question is, did you vote for those who think you are an idiot? If you did then you might be proving they are right by voting for them.

As long as these politicians keep being elected for office, we will be practising democracy in its worst form.

Joshi is a lecturer and IT consultant