Tue, 22 Nov 2016 Feature Article

People + Posture = Politics (Part1)

People + Posture = Politics Part1

I premise this short article on two quotes. Immediately after the quotes are pretty simple and yet critical considerations for any serious aspiring candidate into leadership of any sort; especially at the regional/ national/ global level. Article accommodates some poetic ‘touches’.

Quote 1:
Victory in election campaigns is the resultant effect of well researched and rehearsed responses to demographics (NativeDr, Nii)

Quote 2:
The trouble with this country is that there are too many politicians who believe, with a conviction based on experience, that you can fool all of the people all of the time (Franklin Pierce Adams)

Successful election campaigns rise and fall on PEOPLE.

Election success and failures depends on PEOPLE.
Both Governance and Development, resultant coefficients of elections are hedged on PEOPLE.

It is said, elections and politics is a game of numbers; definitely, not the numbers of fowls, ruminants or plants, but of PEOPLE.

In a ‘watered down’ form, elections narrow down to two categories of people: The aspiring candidate/ staffers on the one side (let’s say Group X), and the Masses on the other (let’s say Group Y).

The mathematics of winning elections then is this: How much ‘magnetic effect’ does the one block have on the other? If the ‘aspiring candidate/staffers block’ exerts more magnetic effect on the crowd, then ‘Group X’ ends up winning; while the alternative is also usually true.

What then accounts for the magnetic effect of (for example) Group X on Group Y??

A candidate who wins prepares himself/ herself as a winning package (product) to be bargained, and as it were, bought by the electorates (masses).

Successful election campaigns seem to be more about selling personalities, than political groups or its ideals. Like war, winning is about impressions- and the discerning ones amongst the masses (who fortunately usually form majority) know exactly how to discern dishonest from honest personalities, ‘products’ and impressions.

So why worry? No need to, really…! Instead, lay plain and bare a message; a message that corresponds to yourself as messenger and allow the other pillar of electioneering process (Group Y or masses) to decide.

The art of “successfully and plainly tabling a ‘meaningful’ message to audience” could be explained as posturing. Posturing then becomes most critical not as it relates to the way the candidate stands and/or sits in private/ public, but posturing as it relates to the leverage his/ her spoken/ unspoken communications creates for him/ her; a leverage created solely through the extent of candidates’ messages’ resonance with the very symbols audience ‘Group Y’ identifies with.

For example, while a candidate may be wearing a particular attire or using a particular phrase/ jargon or singing a particular chorus, he /she must be well informed by the research team of his/her group on the most likely inference made in the minds of the masses (public or audience been addressed). Mention must be made that for winning candidates, ‘lumping and clumping’ of audience is highly undesirable. The mere fact of a large group of audience identifying with the general framework of a group/ idea doesn’t necessarily imply homogeneity; in that, what applies in general, necessarily applies to all; even in details! This principle is quite faulty and fallacious! Though it is practically impossible to appease the demands of all, a clear and careful study and classification of groups with particular attempts and strategies to remedy group interest or assuage group discontent is crucially irreplaceable. Ralph Waldo Emerson is noted to have stated thus “We are symbols, and inhabit symbols”. Hence, a successful candidate learns the symbols which reflect the understandings of the audience and communicates with same.

In my candid opinion, elections are won or lost on the anvil of the research team; LONG, LONG (can’t seem to stress word enough) BEFORE WE HIT THE POLLING STATIONS!!!

This is because, before a candidate goes to the public, the candidate is fully at the mercy (as it were) of the research team (to be briefed, coached, groomed and even if possible cloned); once the candidate steps forth to engage, the research team level of influence dwindles relative to the influence of audience/ listening public. Hence, on this level, usually on the platform, the aspiring candidate is held at the mercy of the reasoning’s and diverse levels of interpretation/ appreciation by the listening public. The aspiring candidate who masters the art of both imbibing lessons of research teams while learning not to defy instinctual feelings when with his/her audience wins the heart of masses. And remember, electioneering is a game of numbers, hence the hearts of masses is exactly what makes winning possible and worth it, after all.

Summarily, in relation to winning over people to your side, victorious election campaigns can be said to be a combination of (i) understanding the people (ii) appeasing the consciences and consciousness of the people- a consequence of research.

Furthermore, the only ‘real’ asset in successful elections campaigns is the candidates’ strengths and the only ‘real’ liability is candidates’ weaknesses. Hence magnifying and duplicating strengths while minimizing weakness is not an option for a successful candidate. Aspiring candidate must then not wonder why an opponent infiltrates corridors of his/her weakness to marshal attacks. Rather, a successful candidate should find out how to launch out his/ her strengths in such a way that it neutralizes and nullifies the vindictive attack inflicted on his weakness.

Especially in campaign contests where one personality ‘is perceived to be’ vitriolic and vicious, that prejudiced personality must as much as possible be groomed to refrain from any noticeable forms of direct confrontations and affront. The candidate must understand clearly the audience he/ she is trying to reach out to (usually not the loyalists of candidate who may wish a more confrontational candidate; such loyalists are ‘die hard followers’ but usually do not constitute the fraction of floating and indifferent voters who often determine election campaign turn outs). Elections are not won by die-hard followers, but by an aspiring candidate well informed by research and well matured to engage combinations of instinct & intellect while with public. The posture of a candidate perceived ‘weak’ must be more aggressive than that of a candidate perceived to be ‘strong’.

The electioneering candidates must remember the first and second principles of winning elections decisively.

First, PEOPLE! PEOPLE! PEOPLE! Understanding of research team (comprising people), understanding of him/herself as candidate (as a person) and understanding of electorates (another set of people).

Second, the candidate must understand POSTURE! POSTURE! POSTURE! Posture simply means “THIS means WHAT to WHO, WHEN, WHY and HOW”?

Franklin Pierce Adams is noted to have said, ‘there must be a day or two in a man's life when he is the precise age for something important’. Consequently, an aspiring candidate whose posture shows without a shadow of doubt that he/ she understands the timing of his/ her peoples fortunes, would have to reward of the peoples nod.

In conclusion, learn to teach yourself concerning your ‘posture’; but even more importantly, learn to educate the audience you seek a nod from, because as the saying goes “elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody” Franklin Pierce Adams

Once again, leadership pursuit equation tip: PEOPLE + POSTURE = POLITICS (NativeDr, Nii)

Thank you for reading & sharing.
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