Friday, 29 March 2013

I'm not sure if the news made it to Malaysian waters, but the Australian political scene isn't looking very bright at the moment. With an election in September, I actually feel like Australian politics and Malaysian politics is becoming quite similar. Or at least, that's how I see it- both ruling governments are unpopular, and might lose the next election, but people have doubts about the opposition.

This morning, I read a very interesting article called 'how to sell a sinking ship', where a political campaigner talked about how can an unpopular government convince people to still vote for them.

''There's an old advertising belief that governments have to sell on fear and oppositions have to sell on hope,'' she says. ''I'd be doing big ads which had pictures of Cyprus and rioters in Greece, saying, 'Australia - 21 years of growth brought to you by the ALP'. I'd certainly be touting those kinds of achievements. ''The basic premise for any government, she adds is: better the devil you know. ''Most people vote for selfish reasons, nobody votes for the good of Australia,'' Gregory says. ''We vote for what's going to put the most money in our pocket at the end of the year … no one actually gives a monkey's about the 'economy'.''
I found those few sentences enlightening, for I do think that it is exactly what the Najib government needs to do at the moment- sell on fear and their track record. And the opposition has to sell on the hope that things will get better. And I also agree completely that we are all selfish people who will vote for whatever brings us the most benefit.

Easter, exactly a year ago. Good times!

We don't like to admit it, but we are all definitely selfish. Sure, there are exceptions to this rule, but most  of us unconsciously subscribe to the capitalistic and materialistic ideal that the world currently runs on. I definitely am one of them. Yes, I do want better things for my country but I do admit that I will also vote for my own benefit as well.

Take my own career aspirations as another example. That article reminded me of something- that behind every hated regime is probably a public relations team that worked tirelessly to ensure that their clients were perceived in the most positive light possible. Some of you might wonder- why do they do it? Why do they even want to help such a terrible cause?

The simplest answer to that is probably self-preservation and promotion. If they run a successful campaign, it's safe to say that they would not only continue to have a job, but they would also have gained a reputation in the industry for being able to run campaigns against the odds. I mean, Apple doesn't have to do much right now- every product they churn out is going to have the attention of people. It's companies like Nokia and Blackberry whose PR and marketing teams have the most challenging job, and if they were able to bring that kind of favourable attention to their company and products, what does that say about their abilities?

We all want that career boost and being well known in what we do. We don't admit it, but we selfishly think of how to improve our chances every day and how to benefit ourselves at the end of the day. Of course, everyone does this to a different extent, so some of us aren't willing to go as far as others. But we still do it.
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