Sunday, December 30, 2007

Kenyan election results

Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki won Thursday's closely-fought election, the electoral commission has declared.

The announcement came after opposition leader Raila Odinga accused Mr Kibaki of electoral fraud and called for a full re-assessment of the results.

Opposition protesters began riots in the capital Nairobi, just minutes after the announcement.

Africans should learn to rule by respecting democratic principles. This can make it easy for their countries to have fair elections. Ruling through nepotism and corruption has its effect in elections as each side tries to use whatever means to get elected including vote rigging and violence.

Election campaigns in Kenya were marred by relative violence to become even worse after the result announcement with about one hundred deaths and extensive damages to property. It's no wonder if the results are controversial and disputed by all side in the absence of fair play by all sides to get undisputed results.

In Kenya, although it was a good step to have elections to give power to the voice of people, the delay in announcing the results has put in question the fairness of the elections as the defeated party sees the delay as a way to rig votes and not to count them.
For the election commission to hold talks with the parties and international election monitors means voting was flawed and a compromise is needed by the parties. This means people's choice at the ballot boxes can be set aside to satisfy the political forces in the country. Elections will be for many just a sham.

It’s time for African leaders during elections to admit defeat, if they haven’t got enough votes, just at the close of polling stations and to reassure their supporters of a better day. Each claiming victory in elections is in itself an invitation to unrest as each seeks their supporters to impose themselves at the expense of political and social stability.

In African elections, the accustomed use of terms like vote rigging and corruption just reinforces the idea that many African haven’t yet reached political maturity and their political level is still as low their economic and social one. It seems that in Africa to be a leader on should have an armed force behind. Civilian vote is used just as a façade to celebrate an event with dances and speeches and not to count it or use it as an account of who should be in power.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Democracy and political assassinations in Pakistan

Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated in a suicide attack.

It is sad that the Bhutto family should be plagued with political assassinations. It is like the Kennedy family in The USA and the Ghandi family in India. It seems that in many cases political bravery involves bravery to face death. Political assassination is not the democratic way to make a point.

Pakistan has the flaw of being a society where there are different forces that can’t cohabit. There is the military that is unlikely to fully relinquish power to elected institutions. It will always continue to seek a crucial role in the country’s politics. There are also religious views that oppose democratic rule as it views it as western style that has nothing to do with Islam.

As long as politicians are constantly under assassination threats, Pakistan will remain a country in political turmoil that emerges from time to time. The military will continue to have direct interferences in what is taking place. Pervez Musharraf, although now a civilian, has a military past behind him. He will continue to work closely with the military to stay in power. Events have shown that political parties have only the power to rally supporters to denounce measures by the president. Elected institutions are just a sham as they have little power to sway the country’s general politics.

Al Qaeda denying it killed Benazir Bhutto can be just a tactic on its part. It has succeeded in eliminating her. Now it should work to destabilize the government of Pt Musharraf by showing it to be behind her killing as a way to create massive anger and unrest in Pakistan to its advantages.

Benazir, during her life, was a controversial figure in Pakistan politics. Now from her grave, she’ll continue to create controversies about who was her real killer and the real motives behind her death.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Religion and politics

Religion in a multi-faith society should be left aside. Many atrocities were carried out in the name of religion. In recent history, there were many incidents. Yugoslavia was broken up because of religious tensions between Muslims and Christians.

Lebanon has so far failed to elect a president because of political disagreement between political factions whose background is religious. The president in this country should be a Maronite Christian. Politicians because of their different faiths have different alliances even outside their country. The Shiites are allied with Iran and Syria. The Sunnis are allied to Saudi Arabia and the United States. India can be a good model about religious tolerance when it comes to politics as it had a Muslim president, although Muslims don’t make the majority of Indians.

Religion can be a card used to sway the voters. In the USA, Obama has been attacked by his opponents because of suspicion about his religious background and the Muslim religion of his stepfather. Religion can serve just a moral code but it shouldn’t be used as a weapon to discriminate against opponents of other faiths.

Politicians in power as in Iran use mosques to make their points. The Iranian president has made many of his controversial political speeches on Friday prayers. But in the eyes of many Iranians, despite religious devotion, he doesn’t make a good president. It can be a disaster for Iran because of his uncompromising attitudes. George Bush is unpopular although he’s religiously devout.

People expect from politicians integrity and competence. Secular political system can be a compromise for countries on the brink for break-up because of tensions between religious factions. Religion alone isn’t enough for better governance. What matters is tolerance on all levels, including political and religious tendencies.

Elections in Thailand

The party allied to Thailand's ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra has won the general election, initial results from the Election Commission show.

The results of the elections in Thailand in must be a personal victory for ousted PM Thaksin. Far away from his country, he was still able to command influence despite the grip of the military on power. The vote for his party is partly a vote for him. It’s a message for those seeking democracy that the military’s place is in the barracks and not in government seats.

This means democracy can be a reality if the military step aside and leave elected institutions exercise their political powers. In view of the history of coups in Thailand, the military will probably continue to stand by for any possible intervention in the Thai political affairs. Thailand remains stable despite political shakeups thanks to the influence of the King who seems obeyed by all. But this isn’t enough for the Thai people to enjoy a better life. They also need effective leaders who can deal with their urgent problems.

It remains to see if former PM Thaksin will be able to return to his country or he will be the dragon behind the throne. His being kept outside the country as a kind of political refugee will put into question the validity of the elections and who’s really in charge of the country despite the facade of elected institutions.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

ANC new leader, political ambitions and accusations

South Africa's top prosecutor says there is enough evidence to charge the new leader of the governing party, Jacob Zuma, with corruption. This can have effect on political cohesion in this country.

South Africa is still plunged in deep social problems. Many black Africans still live below the poverty line. Crime there is among the highest in the world. South Africa still needs to take rigorous policy to uproot social and political discontent. It seems that despite these troubles, young South African are becoming politically indifferent contrary to the young blacks during apartheid who were politically engaged to end racial segregation.

South Africa needs a strong leadership. Nelson Mandela was the unique model of a clean leader who took the presidency and left it without putting into question his integrity. The current leadership should take him as a model. Black activists fought for the end of apartheid and the unification of the country, especially the unity of black people. The spirit of struggle should continue for ANC not to lose credibility.

Jacob Zuma has been a controversial politician, starting with accusations and trial over rape and corruption. If found guilty of corruption , it’s better for him and his country to resign the leadership of the ANC. It will be a victory for the justice system that should be respected. It will be a victory for democracy in this country. It’s better to uproot the causes of national discontent from the beginning. It can be dangerous for South Africa to have blacks in particular becoming sworn enemies after decades of struggle and just a few years of liberation from apartheid.

If the political situation worsens, the ANC can split and its ideal for a justice and national unity can evaporate.

The eyes of the world are on South Africa because in 2010 it’s going to hold the World Cup . It will be queer to have a prestigious tournament run in a country with visible political rift. South Africans still have the time to put their political system in order. Now it is below the expectations of many South Africans who haven’t benefited from the end of apartheid. Politicians of all type should continue to play it fair away from political stratagems. Using dubious ways in political management will downgrade the ANC. No one will look to it as a champion of dignified struggle but just an oligarchy rewarding kin and friends with little regards for the majority who are still waiting for a better day for all and not just for a minority of black whose fortunes are added to those of the white minority.

Happy birthday BBC!

Happy birthday BBC!

If the BBC is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, I am celebrating my 25th year of listening to or devouring BBC world service English programmes. ( but unlike the BBC I can’t remember the exact date I started listening to the BBC English programmes but I am sure that was in 1982, when I was still a English learning beginner. (At that time, in Morocco, students started learning English at the age of 15/16). I still remember the issue of the magazine “London Calling”, I received from the BBC which was about BBC’s 50th anniversary.

I still remember when BBC Arabic service was the second radio station in Morocco. People seeking extra news used to listen to BBC Arabic service. At that time, it used to have two broadcasting periods. One in the morning for two hours. And another period from 13:00 GMT to 20:00 GMT.

My favourite programmes on BBC English service were “Outlook”, “Play of the Week” and “24 Hours” and programmes from “Learning English” like “Can I help you” and “Speaking of English”.

Since 2006, I’ve become hooked to BBC WHYS. I still remember the first call I had from the show to take part. At first, I was hesitant because I had never spoken live on air. My contribution was, I think, the shortest on the show: 15 seconds! But through repeated contributions I succeeded in speaking longer without exceeding the allowed time.

WHYS now takes a great part of the time I spend on BBC site.

The BBC in the period I have been listening didn’t stop being innovative. Despite the emergence of tens of major news channels, BBC remains unique in its approach to the news in terms of coverage, tone and impartiality. It’s the only that targets the largest audience 33 languages on its website.

The BBC through its dedicated journalists and staff received many awards. It still deserves more.

Once again many Happy returns!!

A question to Director of the BBC World Service, Nigel Chapman

On the celebration of the BBC 75th anniversary, I had the chance to put this question to Director of the BBC World Service, Nigel Chapman about the launch an Arabic TV channel:

"The BBC is going to launch an Arabic TV channel
. How distinct is this channel going to be vis-à-vis the existing Middle Eastern Arabic channels like Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya?"

Nigel Chapman: What we want to make sure is that the BBC brings a very high quality international news service on television in Arabic to the Middle East. The BBC has a genuinely international perspective on the news and the big events in the world. It’s not rooted in the region itself like some of the channels you mention. I expect a wide agenda and also the ability to reveal news stories especially in the Middle East itself, but also right across the world.

This what I think about this launch.

The plan to launch an Arabic service new satellite TV station in the Middle East is a good step by the BBC to address an audience whose region is extensively daily in the news. Although the launch seems a bit late, but it’s better late than never. The region is now swarming with different news “homemade” Arabic channels, but each is with a political agenda. Although they appear to be neutral or reflecting both sides, they remain tied to the political directions of the countries that sponsor them. Al Jazeera is known for broadcasting programmes like “Opposite Directions” in which debates get hot to the point of uncivilised shouting and interruption, but it never dared broadcast a programme about Qatar showing the problems facing the country. Al Arabiya can never broadcast programmes showing the social or political problems in Saudi Arabia. Such channels are free to broadcast programmes critical of other countries, except the countries that sponsor them.

The BBC will be an occasion for those seeking facts without being bombarded with set political views that reflect only the official lines to watch the news and to make their mind about it. Those who visit BBC Arabic website, listen to Arabic service will quickly fit in BBC Arabic television service. Those used to biased news will find the BBC biased because it isn’t leaning to the side they are used to adhering to.

BBC will surely represent a serious rival to the established Arabic news channels if it starts to broadcast 24/7 and if the audience learns that the new approach to the news isn’t to be dictated how to view events, but to have views on them. BBC English service has succeeded in making its users, website visitors, viewers and listeners become interactive. The BBC leaves them to comment and as it has no political agenda amounting to propaganda, contrary to the other Arabic channels who invite “experts” to tell the viewers what is right and wrong.

Speech freedom and responsibility

Freedom of speech entails a lot of courage, especially in countries where the media is state controlled. People in countries ruled by one-party-system were and are still afraid to express themselves freely even when speaking to a stranger. In Russia, there was a competition for the best political joke as an opening on free speech. During the communist era, people were afraid to express opposition to the regime even to their closets friend for fear of being reported to the KGB. However, this campaign was just a joke as in recent years freedom of speech seems to be repressed with the death of journalists like the famous Anna Politkovskaya .

Despite the opportunity the internet gives people to express themselves through blogging, there are still risks of being caught. Yahoo and Google are particularly known for passing information about net users, especially in China, leading to prosecution and imprisonment. There is still censorship as many sites are closed. In Morocco, Google Earth and Live journal aren’t available. There were attempts to close Youtube. But this lasted for only a week.

One area that has become a breeding space for those seeking free expression is blogging. Many are using this tool to communicate their views. But blogging can’t be without shortcoming as there is the risk of publishing unfounded ideas, especially when it comes to religion or race.

Despite for calls for total freedom of speech, there is still scepticism about blogging as it can be just about inventing news. But blogging can be fascinating and inspiring if it is about views that seek to bridge the gap between opposite tendencies. Bloggers should have responsibility about what they publish. They shouldn’t use free access to the internet and internet facilities to propagate disparaging attitudes. Blogging should be an open forum for people to share ideas with one another across the world regardless of nationality, creed or race.

If some use blogging as an escape from news censorship imposed on professional journalists, they should learn to be enlightening and inspiring. However, blogging remains for the few lucky. Currently, there is still information divide because of basic and computer illiteracy affecting poor countries.

Bloggers can be more challenging if they can get reliable sources for their output and come up with convincing opinions. Blogging should at least remain a mental exercise and an intellectual leisure. The more one blogs, the more one gets new horizons through personal efforts and continuous mental drills.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Russia delivering nuclear fuel to Iran

Russia has delivered its first shipment of nuclear fuel to a reactor it is helping to build at Bushehr in Iran.

Iran seems to be scoring a diplomatic victory over the USA. US intelligence reported that Iran was still incapable of producing nuclear weapons. Now Russia has come to Iran’s side by supplying it with nuclear fuel. This will make the task of the USA to convince UN Security Council of imposing new sanctions on Iran difficult.

Now it’s Russia’s turn to make sure its nuclear fuel is used for peaceful purposes. If Iran succeeds in making nuclear weapons, a new political era will set in the Middle East. This can be advantageous to Russia as it will have a strong ally in the region to offset US dominance in the region. At the same time, it will be the chief intermediary between Iran and the USA to settle differences.

Iran getting nuclear fuel is a new chapter in its saga with the West. Time will tell who is wrong or right about Iran’s intentions. Meanwhile Iran will continue to be a key player in the Middle East by holding its opponents in suspense about its intentions while successfully manoeuvring with other parties like Venezuela , China and Russia to create a protective block in case of intense pressures from the rest of the international community.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sex appeal and feminism

Sex is a major factor in people’s behaviour by either practice or abstinence. The sexual revolution of the 60s seems to have left a great impact on today’s girls. They seek more freedom from their parents or family. It has become natural in many societies to see single mothers whose children’s father may be unknown even to them.

Advertisement and fashion also play a great role in how girls should look and behave. In the past, many areas like bars were exclusive just to men. Today in the name of equality, girls are indulging in behavioural activities to assert themselves. It is no wonder if priorities are given to sex appeal , as it is in fact a woman’s nature to seek admiration and open compliments.

Many women find it difficult to get what they want through “logical” persuasion or qualifications. They use their sexual powers at the place of work with their colleagues and employers to advance quickly profiting from their own advances and the advances of the males around them.

In developed countries, it is a foregone conclusion that, in most cases, if a man is set on marriage he will meet a career woman since women have become a major force in the market although discrepancies still remain for top jobs. But this fact is creeping in developing countries. Some work areas recruit more women than men such as the textile industry and nursing.

A lot of men are resentful to see women at the top because of their chauvinism. When it comes to marriage, a man likes to be the boss in the house. For that, a woman with a career -especially superior to his- finds it difficult to have the last word.

A man still sticks to his sense of superiority to women. It is no wonder if the majority of men prefer for their marriage a woman who is less old, less tall, less rich, less educated, less situated in work than them. Some women, if not the majority of them, take pride in marrying men superior to them to show themselves and their surrounding how valuable they are. In a sense, women brandish the equality law just to have a status in society and to be independent. When it comes to relations or marriage, it is nature that dominates. A man feels pride in protecting a woman and she, too, takes prides in being protected. A man seeks protection from a woman emotionally, rather than financially.

As career is about income and responsibility, some men find it difficult to adjust to the fact that the women with whom they share the same roof can be a person inside the house and another in the place of work, where they have professional responsibilities entailing professional relationships. Men, in other cases, resign to women with a career just for economic reasons or fir fear of not being able to have any prospect of marriage at all. It has now become rare to find a woman ready to sacrifice her career to be blessed by marriage, which at any time can end in divorce.

Listen to part of BBC WHYS show on the topic.

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UK handing control over Basra to the Iraqis

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that the Iraqi province of Basra is to be handed over to Iraqi control within two weeks.

The new security measures in Iraq seem to be working. It’s time the Iraqis started to learn to look after their own security. They can’t indefinitely depend on foreign forces to keep their house in order.

Many countries have pulled their troops out of Iraq. Some left in response to terrorist attacks threats. Spain was the only country to withdraw following Madrid bombing attack which left about two 200 deaths and about a thousand injured. Comparatively very few countries are left. Continuous withdrawal or reduction of forces from countries like UK will just put more pressure on the US forces to stay there.

The British seem to have made victorious reduction in their troops. They were defiant of terrorist threats that can happen in UK although some were carried out like July 7th deadly attacks in London. The British have reduced their forces or handed over areas to the Iraqis after accomplishing their mission and making sure the parts they withdraw from in Iraq are in safe Iraqi hands after training Iraqi forces to cope with security challenges.

The British have been successful in making Basra, relatively, one of the safest parts of Iraq. Casualties there seem minimum compared to Baghdad where thousands have died since 2003. The British can be remembered for having left a clean place that has comparatively suffered less violence.

For Iraq to become a stable country, it needs to pull all its forces, political and religious, for national unity. Having one part secure and another a great risk, especially for the locals, will make Iraq in constant state of trouble and bloodshed.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Religious freedom and decline

Christianity may look in decline if congregation attendance is the barometer. But it still inherent even in Western societies. Christmas is still celebrated although it has become for many a shopping and a party occasion. Its messages are still conveyed through the media.
There are preachers who convey their messages through different means. Christian values are still dominant, especially in many African countries. Poor people find their solace in religion. In the West, Christianity is in decline because of the material pursuits. Sunday or the weekend is no longer a time to get near to God but to enjoy the pleasures of the mundane world. In view of the different choices material pursuits offer, Christianity is marginalised. People fall asleep watching TV instead of reading the Bible.

Religion isn’t falling just in Christian countries but in different countries because new lifestyles. While religion is an escape for some, for others it is a set of fetters from which they want to liberate themselves. For those who don’t like “dos” and don’ts” find their comfort in no practising any religion at all. Not to forget those who like to get the best of all religions. The fact that there are new types of religions like Scientology shows many people aren’t against religion but they’re seeking a religion that suits them even if it isn’t revealed to them like Christianity it is the creation of their own spiritual leaning.

Morocco is a country where 99% of the population is considered as Muslim. The number of Jews has fallen to less than 5,000 due to their major exodus after Morocco’s independence and the set of Israel. Now there are more than 800,000 Israelis of Moroccan origins. Jews enjoy in Morocco the highest protections. There were Jewish ministers in the Moroccan government. One of the advisers to the Moroccan King is André Azoulay, a Jew. In Marrakesh, there is a big 500 years old Jewish cemetery in a popular neighborhood. Jews of Moroccan origins who migrated to Israel or another part of the world still hold their Moroccan nationality. They can come back at any time. Many notable Israeli politicians are of Moroccan origin.

Some have erroneous views of Islam and Muslims. They may have developed their views of them from news reports like the teddy bear teacher in Sudan or the Saudi girls sentenced to 200 lashes. In Morocco, there are no such insolent cases. Nobody has ever been beheaded, had his hand cut off or lashed as it is the case in Saudi Arabia. Geographically, Morocco is closer to Europe than to other Muslim countries geographically and culturally. In Morocco, Christians are on best terms with Muslims. There aren’t special districts for them. In Morocco, there is no obligation to show faith in public to be accepted.

The Christians who have established churches in its different Moroccan cities, mainly Casablanca, Rabat and Marrakesh were the French. This essentially happened after French colonialism of Morocco which lasted essentially from 1912 to 1956, a short period in comparison with other African countries like Algeria which was colonised for 130 years (1832 – 1962). France attempted to Christianise the Berbers in Morocco, which it considered of non-Arab origin. But its attempt failed. In Rabat, there is still the outstanding Catholic St Paul’s Cathedral in the city centre. Other churches have closed down after the departure of the French. Very few of them remained operational for a shrinking congregation.

In Morocco, preaching Christianity or for a Moroccan to openly convert to it is punishable by law. There were cases of Moroccan being arrested and imprisoned for propagating this religion. The Bible isn’t on sale or available in libraries although there are books that talk about Christianity or that compares Christianity to Islam. Many Europeans are coming to settle in Morocco, especially in big cities like Marrakesh. But the majority of them don’t practice any religion at all. They lead a secular life. But they are free to practice their faith as long as they don’t ask Moroccan Muslims to convert to Christianity. In a video tape, Al Zawahiri of Al Qaeda asked the Moroccans to attack the Europeans settling in Morocco as he saw them as crusaders. This hasn’t been heeded. The Europeans feel more secure in Morocco as the Moroccans in general have religious tolerance . In Marrakesh old city, the Europeans live side by side with the local inhabitants without any feeling of harassment.

Christians are free to practice their religion. This is to show you that in Morocco there is no animosity between Christians and Muslims. The first visit by a Pope to a Muslim country was by John Paul to Morocco. The former French president Jacques Chirac has settled in Morocco at the end of his presidency. Winston Churchill was one of the great admirers of Marrakesh. In the hotel (La Mamounia) where he used to stay there is still Winston Churchill suite, one of the most expensive ones.

With the Moroccans in their interactions with people of other faiths, especially Christians, there is no sign of religious discrimination. They accept one another.

In the Arab world, one of the category of Christians that suffer most are the Copts in Egypt as they are still viewed as second class citizens. Many feel obliged to hide their religion to get a good job.
In Iraq, it is evident that the Christians can’t feel secure. Under Saddam, they enjoyed full protection. Now with the infiltration of extremists like Al Qaeda, they are easy targets as for them the “Islamisation” of Iraq starts with eradicating the “infidels”.

As long as Christians keep to their religion without interfering in the faith of the others, they shouldn’t be harassed. They have the right to enjoy religious freedom. What makes relations between people of different faiths sour are political influences and ideologies. Christians in Iraq can feel better at home when the political problems are settled. If not, they will continue being a scapegoat for those who seek to attribute to them all the ills they suffer from.

Listen to BBC WHYS show on this topic.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Situtaion in Darfur

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Chavez defeated over reform vote

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has narrowly lost a referendum on controversial constitutional changes.

Chavez’s defeat is a victory for democracy. His admitting his defeat is an expression of respect for popular will. In his future policy making, he will bear in mind that there is a majority that wants him to rule democratically and that there is another political force in the country whose opinions should be taken into account.

Chavez was seeking to kill democracy in Venezuela by seeking to stand indefinitely in elections. This is an unfair game as through time he will wield more influence across all Venezuela's institutions. This means his opponents will have little chance to defeat him. Now with his defeat, they won’t have an indefinite new Fidel Castro.

As Chavez failed to have support for his "socialist Revolution" at home, he's unlikely to get full support for his policy among other neighboring countries, except among his far away ally Iranian president and the dying/aging Fidel Castro. This show that the Venezuelan people don't easily buy slogans under the banner of revolutionary socialism that means having a president for life. Had Chavez he would wield more influence across all Venezuela's institutions. This means his opponents would have little chance to defeat him. Anyone opposing him would even be seen as traitor of his "political revolution" aimed at diminishing the influence of "imperialist" USA.

Dictatorship would be the likely outcome of giving Chavez huge power and indefinite terms to rule if he had had the massive support he would use as a weapon to silence anyone calling for power sharing.

It should also be a sigh of relief to the USA which will see his back in 2013. But still it will have to bear with him for the legitimate years he still have in power. At that time, he will be just a veteran politician or he will take a pause to see what he can do in 2019, the time he will surely be older (65 years old) but probably unchanged in his views. In 12 years from now, Venezuela could change during his rule until 2013 and under the rule of his successor. It remains to see if he will have the ability and the authority to have any influence to materialize his view of “Revolutionary Socialism”.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Stars and political campaigns

The Democrats are hauling out the celebrities but one appears a lot fresher than the other.

Big stars have a great influence on people’s attitudes, especially when it comes to issues. Just their images attract attention. Oprah Winfrey is likely to appeal to black voters who Obama needs most top boost his chances to be elected as a presidential candidate. Oprah has a great history behind her. She can be the symbol of black success as she is the queen of US media. Her being a great communicator can make her Obama’s mouthpiece across the USA. While Oprah has the power to talk, Barbara Streisand has the power of musically influencing the audience.
What is must be regarded as the side effect of relying on celebrities is that political campaigns become just a mere show where candidates compete to get a galaxy of stars behind them to influence public attitudes. Without fanfares and the candidates’ ability to look a comedian more than a politician makes the voters shun from aspiring ones. Former vice president Al Gore was criticised for looking authoritarian and delivering his speeches with utmost seriousness. George Bush looked more likeable because of his ability to look more relaxed.

But in view of voters’ apathy, all means are sought to attract them to the polling stations. What matters after all is the sincerity of the candidates and their ability to keep their promises. Relying on the media, fanfares and celebrities serve as a warm-up for the voters to take their decisions. The risk is when voters see just the stars and forget about candidates. When they are voting, they have in mind just the like of Oprah and Streisand who simply blind them to cast a kind of vote without having any political conviction why the did it. Politics shouldn’t become just like advertising products and charming customers to buy them. The voters should have more political consciousness. They should be ready to listen to political debates at length and not to be swayed just by slogans and the majestic shows that stir just feeling leaving the mind dormant for a while.