Tue, 15 Jun 2010 11:05a.m.
By Philip Patston
On Sunday afternoon while discussing with friends the week's political credit card revelations and other minor happenings, I said that anyone who volunteers for political office proves, by the act of volunteering, that they shouldn't be a politician.
That night I dreamt that I had been elected MP for Wellington. I saw myself on the streets of the capital city, being congratulated by people young and old. They assured me I would make a difference, change the world and watch lots of porn.
Actually I made up the bit about the porn, but the rest really happened – it was a perplexing dream.
I have said in the past – at a university orientation gig in fact – that if I ever stand for parliament, someone should congratulate me on getting to my feet. Then they should shoot me , which would be better than having my throat cut.
Why? Because wanting to be a politician means two things:
1. You have a big enough ego to think you should lead the country; and/or
2. You are naive enough to think you can significantly change anything using the political system.
Politicians fall into two camps in my book: egotistical megalomaniacs and benevolent innocents. Some of them I have known and liked, predominantly of the latter persuasion, but I don't think they should have been politicians. A few have now left politics – the others have switched camps, I fear.
There's another camp – just plain stupid – but we all know who runs that one with a Pay TV remote.
Don't ask me what the alternative is – I'm still working on it. But here are a few of my thoughts about a leadership system that I might put my hand up for:
1. It would be collaborative and not oppositional.
2. It would be driven from a local level, with representatives forming regional and national forums.
3. It would be focussed on relationships between people being the key drivers towards economic, environmental and social development.
4. It would understand and promote the notions of diversity, creativity and change as keys to an emergent, rather than established, society.
5. In its quest for excellence, it would be forever questioning itself and others as to its impact and relevance.
So, what do you think? Am I dreaming? Whether I am or not please, don't shoot me.