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Monday, December 1, 2008

Opposition's must be mindful of leadership!

I was sitting down at my desk, trying to work on some random project--not going well, as I am fresh out of ideas. But, in any event, my mind began to wander, while I had the Internet/radio on listening to a talk show.

As I normally do, I daydream deep and long. Hence, the long winded posts on this blog. My daydream was on the positions of oppositions world wide and their plight--more particularly, oppositions, who are at the doorstep of bringing 'change' to their countries. Or, fresh new governments, who were once in opposition, making the transition the way team Obama is trying.

Oppositions have the un-envied right to oppose whatever and anything it is the current government has laid out. More often, they end up opposing good initiatives. And, sometimes, they end up causing more damage to their political organization, by appearing to be out of touch and actually road blocking, by all means necessary, initiatives that are, for the most part, based on the first best information government's have--by them, being in a position to proliferate or censor, key pieces of information to make best decisions.

This leads to another issue, the point and time the opposition, now becomes the leadership. There have been countless examples, where time, money, resources and efforts, are thrown to the side when new governments take place and cancel, without fair notice or best information--or the time to assess critical information-- projects and initiatives which are, for the most part, built for the common good. At least in established and sounds democracies.

The opposition, must be mindful of leadership in two regards. 1. their lack of true, first best information and the position to act on first best information, from a governmental standpoint and 2. their desire to appease, whoever, and cancel initiatives which may have been for the better good of their country--or, more particularly, the market place.

What must opposition's world wide, taking into account while they are waiting in the wings- some of them in vain- while aspiring to leadership, by hook, or, by crook? For one, they have to push for transparency in government activity and blast at governments, when they hide or collude to obfuscate critical information. This is a key tool for undermining a government and extracting the "trust" factor, away from individual actors in leadership and create a sense of mis-trust in leadership. Playing politics, with smoke and mirrors attached to the truth- factoids or propaganda techniques in general- are the tools of an opposition, who have at their advantage, time on their hand to gather credible, valuable and sound information from the "people" on the effectiveness and the coherence of government policy to the private sector.

Secondly, the opposition must read the road signs, in regards to electoral timing. This is not the case within Federal democracies, like the UsofA, who have a set time and date for elections. However, in the case of parliamentary systems, when a Prime Minister, has the discretion of calling an election at any particular point and time, timing, in relation to understanding the mood of current events, is critical to maximizing your effort to win the government.

Third, there are many stories and examples, where the incoming government, lost their next election within one year of them being in office. The "honeymoon" phase, in these times of national and international awareness and education through mass media, on acceptable practices and standards on government and public officials behavior, grow shorter and shorter by the decade. No longer, are folks going to sit idly by, and not agitate and make their civil opposition, more and more relevant. One must have a media source which will cater to your needs, or at least to balance out the truth which may eventually come out. Sometimes, good intentions may be smeared with negative factoids and propaganda. The ship, in my mind, has sailed on responsible journalism. Everyone is out to make a spectacle and gain political mileage, on any and every issue that they have a soft spot showing on the public.

Case in point with the USofA; before president G.W. Bush got though half of his second term, he was more than a lame duck. He was not trusted to affect public policy, by anyone in either party. He could not garner the support and coalitions needed to make policy. He ended up a sticking point and target, for other politicians who wanted to shore up their favourable stats, in opposition to whatever he said. Case and points are the Dubai Ports World deal and the Columbia Free Trade deal. Both initiatives extremely fair and reasonable, but president Bush, was simply not trusted to make the kind of judgement the process needed--whether or not he was right, or wrong.

Another case and point, the issue going on in Thailand where the former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, just won't go away and is escalating the tense crisis in Thailand currently--after numerous changes between 2006 to the current year, where the government was asked to leave or just simply, changed. While we are no longer in the era of post-war/cold war, levels of regime change after regime change in governments. However, the reason for the change, is poignant. No foreign aided coup, just people wanting change. Thaksin is exploiting that and the global economy, to his advantage and to the disadvantage of the people of Thailand--who are at each others throats, for no apparent reason.

Fourthly, and more importantly, opposition leaders must be mindful that when they win, if they win, to treat the market with very sensitive kid-gloves. Investors are always watching for signs and signals from new leadership, as to how they will proceed with regulating the market. Or, what kind of policies they will put in place which may inadvertently affect the market functions.

The market is critical. All points discussed, affect and relate to the functioning of the market. The market is what is important at all times. Not in the form of dehumanizing capitalism, but the economy in which people participate in their society. People need money to participate. You can't get money unless you have something in which you can participate, which is of some denominated value to everyone else in the market. Its a two way street and the opposition, had better be mindful or else their term will be short lived.

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