Political Commandments – Vol. 1

Politicians are a kind of unavoidable necessity in a society that ostensibly governs itself. They operate in a morally-ambiguous universe – some might put it a touch more strongly – that has a bunch of ‘special’ rules about how one is to conduct oneself.

The first rule is certainly to ensure that how you conduct yourself privately doesn’t become public in any sense of the word. Because if politicians actually talk, answer questions and account for themselves in private the same way they present to the public, the notion that there’s alien life already living among us is categorically beyond dispute.

A necessary political skill is to learn to artfully apologize. Just as a small example, try offering the sort of “apology” to your spouse that politicians routinely come up with when (and only when) absolutely backed into a corner – see if that does the trick to smooth the waters.

Take credit. Assume everything good that happens during your party’s stint in power is unfailingly the result of your party’s wise policy stewardship. For example, resource discoveries, industry profits for a sudden boom in foreign demand and entrepreneurial success in a new technology sector are all unquestionably your doing.

Accept NO blame. As a corollary to the previous commandment, anything bad that happens is either something “outside your control”, a legacy of a prior administration or a completely unforeseeable event against which you struggled heroically, but unsuccessfully.

Venerate the Leader, no matter what (full stop). Party leaders don’t have warts; never say anything stupid and unquestionably always represent the ‘values’ of the constituency. Their words are pearls; their directives are god-sent.

Now, these are by no means absolutely all the rules. But, having mastered these trained seal fundamentals, there’s no reason that, even if you’re as big a dickhead as, say, Peter McKay, you couldn’t take up a substantial cabinet portfolio in no time.

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