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Philosophy of Political Power, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 603

Essay

The author of this article is attempting to convince the readers that much of political leadership, or at least coming to power, stems from being in the right place at the right time.  In essence, the author argues that politicians come to office based on circumstances aligning into a particular timeline.  The author uses the unusual political examples of Jean Chrétien and Pierre Trudeau to justify his argument that Stephen Harper is also an example of freak occurrences gone awry that led to Harper taking office.

The problem that the author does not take into consideration is that many political systems are not geared to be based around the occurrence of chance or circumstance.  Although politicians must choose the best time to run for office based on political power, popularity and financial resources, each politician that runs for office theoretically has an equal opportunity to earn the role they seek.  By arguing otherwise, the author is attempting to define democracy and citizen-based voting systems as fallible and inaccurate.  The author succeeds in using the three examples of Haper, Chrétien and Trudeau as strong argumentative grounds for politicians needing the right time and right place to ultimately come to power as political leaders within government.

Although the author succeeds in showing grounds that his argument is correct by providing three specific examples where circumstances led to individuals coming to power when they otherwise would not, there are several questions that should be posed to the author to challenge his argument.  First of all, the author should be asked whether political ability, personal characteristics or leadership qualities play roles in politicians coming to power.  This would challenge the argument that the author proposes where he states that politicians only truly come to power based on being in the right time and the right place.  There are thousands of examples throughout history where politicians have won the vote of the people based on their message, their speaking skills or their popularity.  In more recent times, specifically in the United States, politicians can win based on having the greater amount of financial resources to pay for campaigning.

Secondly, the author should also be asked whether circumstance truly sways the opinion of the voters or whether the politician does so.  It would be argued by the author that the people only vote based on the circumstances.  However, the author does not claim that the best individual comes to power based on the circumstances, only that the circumstances are the reason that the people have voted in a particular way.  If this is true, then the author believes that the people are mindless and are only swayed by the most trivial of events rather than being swayed by the words and abilities of the politicians whom actively campaign to come to power.

Finally, the author should be asked whether the circumstances actually provide for the right candidate to come to power.  In the three examples that the author chose, it could be argued based on the author’s rationale that the other candidates may have been better prepared for leadership roles as public officials in government, but that the circumstances prevented them from emerging victorious.  If this is true, then the right man or woman for the job may not win and this also challenges the philosophical grounds of the political voting system.  Similarly, as compared to the second question, this line of thinking would show that the people do not have the ability to make proper decisions even when circumstances change.  A candidate should be the best person for the job in office, not becoming victorious only because of economics or political alliance.

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