Saturday, May 26, 2018

Sign here, please: Politics meets the big stage (2)

(Topic: Politics)

Read (1)

Well, 👆 politics (that) is everywhere. When it comes into its own arena, and deals with power and governance, it takes on a new level. Till then people are just doing it on the side for ego kicks and side benefits. Once crossed over to the big leagues, the only thing different is a much, much wider playing field with the same motivation to win The science remains as is. There are some stark differences though.

When otherwise practiced, there was never a referee, and there was no accountability. It is self-managed system. Sensible people rested their egos at a reasonable midpoint and accepted that there are going to be some crazy folk you can go ahead and ignore.

At the next level, there is self-regulation and accountability, with the same freedom to crazy folk. It takes shape in a growing, robust swirling core of ideas fed by citizens' voices, with everything they think about where the country should be and how to get there. This is the sacred space that keeps any society and country a democratic one, against all odds.

The core is everywhere this country is—offices, chai shops, traffic snarls, parliaments, school yards, college campuses... everywhere where there are one or more Indians. Everyone's allowed. You don't get shot, bit, hung, killed or slapped for getting your voice in. It's built to echo the nation in one true voice, which is heard unfiltered as it sounds it out. When we all keep the democratic peace, and get our voice in, the echo may be saying a lot of things at once (we're a big, diverse nation). It may not be very pretty to hear but they're being said loud and clear. That's how we know that our perceived reality is indeed one. We can correct our notions  of what India is and is not. This is our key to how we can all live together in peace and harmony. We all get to originally hear each other. You can speak with respect and be heard with respect.

But things can get bad, and then worse. Since the nation is diverse, the voices are different and everyone's allowed to have their full say, the core can get off balance in tone, where there isn't respect given all around. That's because there are two types of people who say things: the crazies and the sane. Being polar opposites, one obviously won't like what the other says and bam! Despite the everyone's allowed rule, the crazies come with attitudes that end up seeking to shut down, restrict and ban voices that can't make it all the way into their hearts.

The crazies ones come with an "I am right and you are wrong" approach. The sane have a "Let's break that down" approach that sometimes leads to an "oops-a-daisy" revelation, and an admission of wrong reasoning where found. The crazies cannot rationalise. The sane can, at least a bit more. The crazies have identity issues with what they hold true to. The sane are aware of and are willing to face realities as is. The crazies come in all colours, and so do the sane. So any group with ideology you don't like will have some people whom you will respect, and some you won't, both with more or less the same ideas. The crazies have blanketed perspectives and colour their thinking. This helps everything become easily identifiable to them, but doesn't necessarily represent the issue all round. The sane stay away from colours and blanket ideas. They listen and are not in a hurry to settle on a final conclusion until it presents itself clearly. The crazies are in a perpetual hurry to (usually pre-)conclude with a (pre-)favourable view. The crazies consider the very thought of certain things poisonous to society. The sane don't restrict idea thinking by principle.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

You're responsible for Karnataka, too

There's presently a lot of nataka in Karnataka. Long story short, BJP's short of full majority, Congress-JD(S) have joined together and cross the halfway mark, and there are 3 other independents who align one way or the other. The Governor, in his non-popular-by-some wisdom, has allowed the BJP to form government, with 15 days to pass a floor test. So, there's a swearing in of a Chief Minister with no government or cabinet, who practically doesn't have visible MLAs to get on his side except ones he can poach. All of this while we sit here in shock or amusement watching our beloved politicians take for this great rollercoaster ride.

With the hope of making things better, there are voices for and against the present situation with various arguments why it is right, wrong, ethical or immoral. But there's one voice that's the most hypocritical of all: yours (if you're registered on an electoral roll somewhere in Karnataka and you didn't vote unless it was completely unavoidable not to). If you did vote, or could but didn't for a reason that makes sense, all you will read now on directly addresses you (unless you're a part for the exception).

Most voting in India happens through one, loyalty (one party for life), two, driving away strategy (temporarily to keep away the more evil candidate) or, three, being experimentative (going for the party candidates based on their credit, not because they're evil, less evil or more evil, but just offer better hope and action). Wherever you are in that order, you're a more conscious, thinking voter, the lower you stand-one being the highest and three being the lowest.

The simpler way of looking at it is whether you voted for the candidate or the party. If you voted for the party, you're high, and if for the candidate, low, with the analysis the same. If you disagree, let me educate you on voting and its context. You are a citizen of a country and are given the opportunity of representation so that when matters of everything adding you are decided, your voice is heard and you are benefitted with a resultant happy life. This also includes actual action for the better, apart from voice.

Now, if you don't step in to attempt to decide who will have that voice, and responsiblity to act, someone else will and the one who does may not do a great job. This means all the great things you want to do may not ever happen because you have a shitty representative because you didn't attempt to ensure it. This is what also happens to all the good things you could do but never figured that it was possible.

This (independent) process culminates into what every other person like you thinks all over the state, or country, and a majority government is decided. That way more people get the government they want, with the hope that the government understands that it serves the whole nation. It is up to it to not to screw up at keeping the balance, and just keeping its supporters happy. They will get their vengeance the next time polls are due. 

Of course the system isn't perfect. It's just basic. Being first-past-the-post, it asks that any candidate just polls enough to be highest. So the least credit you can have a representative is that only 50% of your constitutency want you to be their voice and action. That shouldn't be read as at least 50%. This leaves the other 50% luckless, instead of being democratically empowered.

One way candidates and parties can make up for this system is to be equally advantageous to all their constituents, instead of trumping their majority vote like 5 year olds who just won a race for the first time ever. That means parties and candidates have to have offer a balanced stance of what they stand for and will aim to achieve, without isolating any one of the groups of people the country has. They can also have something for everyone. The best approach is to keep it simple and consider everyone like human beings that needs all things everyone does, leaving religious, community and other biases aside. 

Criticism and weaknesses apart, the idea is to build it ground up: individual votes, individual constitutency winner and, then, government. You make things worse when you subvert this and employ a backwards process i.e. when prospective government engineers itself to power by seeking the votes that should be given basis candidate through a blanket vote for the party. This makes the candidate just a means and his promises literally shit. That's why if you voted for a party, and not a candidate at the same time, you are to blame. If you stuck to voting for a candidate, and not the party, you are probably less to blame for the mess that Karnataka is in right now. You bought in to the conspiracy that your favourite party hatched to come to power. If you're willingly a part of it, you're equally culpable-while you exercise your fundamental rights. When you celebrate these victories, you have more to lose as your beloved party and MLA has started spinning their own agenda, as planned. 

If you really want to fairly extract the best from the democratic process, make your party earn your vote, like really earn it. Push them to their limits. Get them to the edge of delivering for the right reasons. If their power becomes less then your power, vote different ways each election, intentionally. Use NOTA and shame candidates with a majority of NOTAs. Question them and their chamchas. Form alternative forums and movements. Just don't stoop lower than your respect. And do all this enmasse. They don't care about you, for most. By 'fan'ning them, you only dig the hole they're digging for you deeper.

Don't be an idiot. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

To vote, not to vote, and how you can vote effectively

It's election time in Karnataka on the 12th of May. It's been raining political tourists, grand speeches, grander accusations and tons of mudslinging. The atmosphere can be vitiating to a simple, sincere, honest voter's spirit (which there aren't many of these days). You usually find the ones who are annoyingly over-bearing or innocently pre-decided. They either shove their opinions down your throat or are inane about any discussion about who the best candidate is, apart from their committed usual party. 

For those who are conscientious voters, it is a struggle during every election. The options they have in candidates don't help them either. It's never a complete picture with any one. What one lacks in wisdom another makes up for in opportunism. Lots of questions pop up in their minds. They don't want to waste a vote, nor do they want to compain later. When balancing these options, it helps to understand what your vote could stand for. 

There are certain predominant ideas that people have about voting. 

Don't vote for a party "that won't win": By this logic, what does make a party win unless you vote for it? They mean don't vote for a non-mainstream, or new, party (that probably won't win) because it will just divide the vote and make it difficult to form and run government. But is choosing a stable government over the government you want opting for the larger or lesser evil?

There's also the case of a possible reelection, in case of a hung result, being unnecessarily costing and avoidable. If that was our primary premise to vote, democratic representation should have nominal importance and zero impact on we live our lives after. If the boat was never tipped and needs to be tipped, the concept just won't float-unless the government had always been amazing.

If you do vote for a non-mainstream alternative, you are doing a number of things: providing them with initial support to keep at it (if they lose) or getting a representative that will put a check to things better (if they win).

Are you voting for a party or a candidate?: The entire system is built on the bottom up logic. You vote for the candidate first, and then the party wins added up may or may not make the party win. It isn't backwards: Vote for the party through the candidate so that the party wins.

When you vote for a party, the candidate and their work has less merit. When you vote for an individual, he needs to have merit. Candidate prominence will make him so. True, a party's view is the candidate's ideal. But if you want to see a better five years, a candidate approach is your go to.   

Vote for voice, action or both?: Depending on the election your voting in, your candidate will standing to become an MP/MLA or a Councillor/Panchayat member. The former is more voice, less action. The latter is the opposite. They all have different responsibilities the way the system is constructed, but all of them can be held responsible for your constituency's plight to at least some extent each.

Outside the constituency, their voice, approval and votes design policies and laws, the understated, important benefit of voting.
Good policy can build, bad policy destroy and better policy advance a state. This where ideology kicks in. It could be that you  want to vote for someone who does/had done good work but you can't trust their ideas of what economy and society should be. What will be more dangerous time will tell, and you can vote better next time.  

Use your voice to vote now or hold your peace forever: There is some truth in this. India doesn't yet allow recalling candidates, so a mistake now will remain a mistake for five years. A "Go and vote" that's filled with concern becomes a "But you only voted" as an excuse if the candidate turns out to be bad. Democracy doesn't end at the ballot. In your own capacity, and within your own time allowances, you should speak our or act to change what your representative may not be doing. If you cannot, it's alright, but you can try to be aware of the status of action. Communication (letters, emails, social media), forums (online and offline), civic  groups help you do that. 

If you don't vote, you don't have the right to speak up: I'll go out on a limb and say this is half true too. The half that is that you may not have to speak up, if you did vote. The half that isn't is that it's your tax money that pays their bills through many means. You deserve to be given an answer and know. It actually costs you less than you think if you are a reluctant voter, or a non-voter. 

Disillusionment with politics is an understandable thing, but it only distances you away from being happier in the larger society you live in, unfortunately. The choice, eventually, is yours. Engage at your own pace, but engage. More than anything, it is a necessary evil.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sign here, please, before you run and politic (1)

Society isn't free. There's always a catch. While you don't pay to get in, you pay as you indulge (cue most of social media). Your entry's marked with a baby fingerprint, and by that you've consented to all terms and conditions that came along with it. Every one. Now don't go asking where this record is, but it's somewhere. By the time you've figured this out, you're locked in and you can't get out, but it isn't as bad as it sounds.

What we've consented to is far from the life were living today. That's because no one's read the terms and conditions, ever. We were thrust in clueless and we just made do. "Let's stop life till we understand it", said no human ever. All of the structures we function within were all made on the go. And when we figure that out, they've usually overstayed their usefulness. The only reason they're still here is because, for some reason, the older generation makes more decisions than the younger ones. Let's understand the fine print were missing in our idea of politics today. 

The Genesis

Politics is a habit as old as time, starting since men and women gathered and started living in communities, and it has only gotten better since. It's everywhere—in relationships, communities, organizations, families and every other place where there are two or more people. Soon enough, it becomes second nature-so much that we barely recognize what we're doing when at it. 

Why would we? We've been normalized to it, by design, from when we could ever sense anything remotely meaningful. It just didn't have a name in our minds. With our inknowleged (baby) fingerprint on a dotted line, we've been inducted into this strange behaviour, and, it seems like, that we haven't even tried to adapt to it for centuries. Not once have we cared to read the fine or main print. Instead, we abuse it with ignorance, even when it catches us unawares. 

With all the chaos that has come from our blind strategy, it is high time we start paying attention to the print, both fine and glaring. We're practically shooting in the dark when we seek any peace and order through it.

There is a science to the phenomena. It always has to do with some form of deprivation. Mother-in-laws feel (arguably) deprived of anything between power, control and authority. Company bosses feel deprived of being anywhere from the one with enough spotlight on them to having their egos massaged as much as they want. Communities feel attacked, sometimes because the changes around put them in defense mode (especially if they are smaller and/or less exposed ones). 

When all these people, and more, can't get what they're after, they adopt tactics to ensure that they will, since simply asking is no more a solution. Other times (the way they perceive it), it's bad enough that they have to ask at all. It's an all out battle of pride first, among other things. Whatever the guise, people band together when they have a cause to and give it a shape and a name—resident welfare associations, unions, industry associations, ideology and culture groups/clubs, Facebook groups etc., while some are one person armies (who sometimes can put a whole group to shame).

Most of us don't understand why we practice the specific politics we do. It's a response that is overwhelming to us as we practice it and, in ages of humanity, we have never stopped to think or analyse why. When we rarely do understand and practice it, it's far more rationalised, reasonable and sane.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A new kind of hypocrisy

The Backstory

Politics exists always at two levels: personal and corporate. It's either the combined similar personal views that build a corporate view, or a corporate view that influences a personal view that feeds the strength of a corporate one. Both these processes run parallelly. Though not in proportional consistency, it's never only the one and not the other. What's important about this idea is that it's the personal politics that drives anything remotely political. It's always personal to corporate, or corporate to personal to corporate. 

Both politics differ in essence. One is concerted, organised, comes from a place of good self-awareness of what you stand for and an idea of what it is you're supposed to/should do about it. The other is the opposite. It is none of those, and something that fits like hand in glove in a way that you don't know even know that the glove is on. Like you get up in the morning believing in something for no apparent reason and that something is completely and totally you. You know nothing else, will believe nothing else and will fight for nothing else. That's your whole primary universe. Anything new causes enough cognitive dissonance to behead someone who threatens it (if you choose to give in), and it can take any shape. It decides your views on gender equality, soceital norms and every other subject important at the time. It's like a beast that controls you, and you have no clue it does. You just puppet along.

But that's the extreme version. There's a milder version of personal politics that far more self-aware. It's more rationalised and is open to other ideas and evolving. It absorbs the intricacies of the nature of differences between different people's ideas, wishes and wants. It submits to contemporary reality and accepts that we function within it. You find it proportions, sometimes less, sometimes more, all over. It's quieter and not pre-decided. 

For a long time, personal politics (both varieties) and its corporate variety had a safe distance. Off late, it's closing in. Soon it's all becoming one. Now, personal is corporate, and there's no more corporate. It's all just way too personal. If it's the less crazier kind, there isn't much of a danger. With the other one, it just explodes. Owing to the fact that it's the whole Universe for those who stand by it, they explode when it's attacked by any other Universe, even inadvertantly.

The confusion

This mixing of personal and corporate politics has been evident over the past few years. A personal

view stayed at home, or stayed fringe but a corporate view made it to the front and found its place and base, after due development and weighing as a complete, balanced one. This equilibrium has been destroyed. These days, personal politics influences and becomes its corporate form without a vetting process making it personal in vengeance and corporate in execution and acceptance by society-a dangerous combination. It's like a child being allowed to freely wield a knife. The idea is not to restrict anyone's freedom of preferences, but to allow everyone else's too at the same time in a respectful environment. The basic principle is that if it's how any citizen gets up and feels in the morning, it deserves space unless it is destroying someone's else's similar privilege.

The net result is that, today, almost everyone heard seems to be an expert for their opinion, whether it's naive, sensible or crazy. Most of it is just how they feel. Very little is invested political thought. There's less reason and sense applied. It's full of instant reactions and less thought out while being heavily emotional and identity based. Mere thought becomes institutionally valid and automatically right. 

It is perfectly legitimate opinion but, in all the mess, there is, obviously, no reasonable standard except for self applied ones i.e. the ones that say "I am right because I have a right to believe and assert so. Therefore, everyone else is wrong unless they completely agree with me amd that's my right to have." How everyone can be right and everyone else be wrong at the same time is another discussion altogether, that we can easily ignore. But this isn't the best place to apply logic so we'll just skip that thought. 

Meet hypocrisy

One such specific standard is hypocrisy: one that can hit you from any end, depending on where you're standing (that is its defining quality). It demands a few things of an allowable political opinion. One, and most important, is that you should not be (or come across as) selective. If you speak against, or for, one thing, you should speak similarly about the entire spectrum of issues that come along with it (and that mainly depends on where your accuser stands). So if you are against X, and for Y, you'd be a hypocrite to also not point out the same, similar or equally wrong flaws in Y, for example. 

As we now have been reminded, with small Universes come smaller minds and understanding. So even if you stand at a slightly different angle to the anyone in India, your sight is clear, your mind's noted all the details and you're aware of what a majority of people feel and think about what you see and hear (and why they do so), you're in for a barrage of accusations just because someone stands at an angle to an issue that's not yours and insists on the privilege of his tiny Universe as his right. You could also be aware that you are playing close to this risk, but with tightropes everywhere you really don't have an option. The only one you do have is zipping it. Anything you say will suffer from the wrath of the one who has a different angle.

With personal becoming corporate with their views, they assume a morning feeling, indiscriminately turn it in to a valid concerted effort and unleash. All that actually happened is that somebody felt like they got up on the wrong side of the bed but they realised it was the right side but just refuse to admit it.

Given that others don't mix personal and corporate, some seek to understand differences in views and their roots. But the others don't. Here are a few eye-openers to some sense in the nonsense.

1) When you keep personal politics personal, it's a side to actual real life where you live a life that takes up your time. You make yourself heard because of conviction, i.e., when something happens that threatens/can threaten something that you hold close to yourself. You need to, primarily, for your own safety, and then for your own human (or national) brothers' safety. But that's just your Universe. It needn't even match someone else's (which you understand, but they don't know). So when you do speak out, and different universes rub shoulders, you're automatically in line to be charged with hypocrisy. 

2) With an insecure personal Universe, they feel a need to want to be spoken to all the time, much like an insecure identity (even if somebody isn't talking directly at them). But their in-horizon problems will not be everybody else's, nor will the things that trigger your responses, empathy and sympathy. The immediate sensitivities everyone inherits by upbringing and influence simply isn't the same.

3) No one has to be right. If everyone was, as we'd like to assume, the world will be a bigger mess than if we all we're as clueless. Everyone needs to be sensible and respectful, first and always. We can be anything else later. We need to learn from those we are not able to identify with, rather than target them. 

A few other tricks up sleeves: 

Where were you when?: This is something people are asked when they represent a thinking that inspired clear wrongdoing in the past, but not necessarily now. To this, you answer the question as you best can and tell them where you exactly were, if you remember. It could be anything from the fact you weren't born yet to you playing cricket in the gully at that point in time.

If they seem like they'll listen, explain to them the point of political awakening, that everyone doesn't become born a activist one side of the political spectrum. Experiences have to move them to give birth to their own personal political convictions, and that took its own time with you, as it does with everyone. Tell them that the process is critical to how well you understand it and defend it making sense at the same time. 

What about...?: Also known as whataboutery, this is a comeback when you point out a wrong and they respond with an equal wrong from your side as if to say that they're not the only ones doing something wrong. Explain to them that the fact that what you've done is wrong does not change the fact what they've done is wrong too, and that two wrongs make don't make either right! Stress that the claim here isn't sainthood but the correction of wrong where it is, wherever it is. 

So if we are going to trade hypocrisy charges, we may as well as well trade them at the right people. Open rank hypocrisy is another topic completely.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Modern Indian Politician's rule book

Nowadays politics is a hard game but that doesn't mean everyone who gets in bypasses the merit test. When power's in play, the human is spurred to get their bite. And since it's full up and there's way more competition than just the top layer you see, there is an intermediate dynamic that has driven and taught people a few survival tactics. It's almost become like a call centre employee rule response guide that can sometimes be hilarious and true, at the same time. Note: we're saying nothing about how much sense they make or whether they should even be endorsed. Here are just some of the entries you'd find in there.

Foot-in-mouth: This is suggested when you need to a big presence but you don't have one. Just go for it. The limelight is far more important. Your intelligence may see some sunlight but that's alright. Don't let that bother you. Just go straight back into your hole after. The thumb rule is to get all the attention you need from a passing momentous opportunity. As far as your intelligence is concerned, don't worry about it. You may just feel a little dizzy but you'll go back to being your old stupid self in no time.

Out of context: Here's a trick that will save you from the trouble of pre-thinking and being generally aware. If in case you're caught red lipped, just say you were quoted out of context. To give your context, you can immediately say a number of things: the people I was speaking to understood it right, it makes sense when heard with all the points that I made or I was referring to the larger picture... anything that gets you off the hook. 

I need to pay toll?!: Use this one when you're an absolute nobody. Yes, I know you also pay taxes and use good highways where you find them but let's ignore that for a prosperous career in politics. If you don't happen to pass a toll booth (or just reroute so you do), create a scene there. I won't give you a "how" to do this because it's always better completely left to your own imagination. Just make sure you get on the news! In most cases, you will even if you forget to manage it beforehand. So don't let it bother you if you can't. Just break a few glass panes, thrash at least one computer and make one person bleed (the idea is not to have a massacre). Remember, you're just looking for really cheap, toll-free publicity. 

The slap: The classic one. This one doesn't need a setup. Two steps: get mad and fadak! Put some power onto the action. Try and get some fireworks without actual fireworks. Preferably do it to someone for a whimsical reason. Make sure she/he's a public servant. On a private professional, you need a bigger reason, but make sure your landing is as powerful. Don't over think any of it but. Just go with the opportunity. 

The clarification: One of the cheapest ways to repair the damage you've done with a statement that you made. Just say something that's more tangible. Be diplomatic and give people what they've been demanding to hear. Good examples of this are statements like I'm sorry if what I said actually hurt someone or I did not intend to offend anyone intentionally. If in doubt whether it's good enough, run it by your party unit head to check. But never make the mistake of taking back your statement. That undoes any progress you've made.

Let me really show you who I am: You don't need any introduction to this one! Throw your weight around as much as necessary, even if you don't actually have any pull. You'll get your support from the party local office.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

It's time to change the election conversation!

It's that time of the year again: election season. When a politician's worst fear comes alive, and they outdo themselves to prevent it from happening using many methods, sane and insane. Some of these include foot-in-mouth, out of context, talk to the hand, the clarification and many other such methods. There are so many there's a dedicated dictionary that has documented the old and the new ones we know of. Check it out here. 
But they aren't the only ones to blame. Everyone's also gets wagging, tongue or not, when they see the banners come out, roads decorated sans occasion and their politicians getting some sun. Now we all make hay when the sun shines, so let's talk about everyone else reveling the sun too. Let's keep the conversation balanced with truth. 
To start with, the news. This is one of those times when it's blooming season for them. Then there's the extra party party: everyone who isn't important enough to be a part of their favourite party. They do their selfless duty towards making India a better place according to them. Then, the people. All of these people get talking about motives, possible inside reasons, somebody's uncouthness and somebody else's far more respectable campaign. But we see a clear trail which has some things we should avoid. 
Party central politics
One widely engaged-in angle of discussion is a party's strategy and its benefit to itself in terms of winning most seats and coming to power. There is nothing wrong in the analysis but the focus is off why they're there: the people. Talking about their strategy with perspective of how it suits their coming to/remaining in power only normalises any selfish motives a party may have more. If we'd rather evaluate the benefits of the policies they promise to have that the country will benefit from, the conversation goes forward. By sticking with the incumbency circle talk, we only give the politicians' ego more power, along with a license for them to slyly bypass voter accountability. Saying, "Why would they if it doesn't suit their party interests?" is less empowering to the nation and its people (including you) than looking at what their idea of good governance and good policies are and calling out the gaps in their higher ideals. 
There are lesser benefits to a politician having a fan club than you can imagine. The politician's fan club phemenona is a product of populism. Defined right, it is not a good thing. The presence of it marks an non-thinking electorate. A thinking voter knows that he doesn't vote for 50 And 100 day runs. He knows that he needs results that his taxes will be paying for. Thinking voters don't make political fans.
A non-thinking one is the political fan boy you see. He believes in saviors for himself, only other than himself. He deems himself worthy of his own political wisdom, only when his party or candidate is insulted. The rest of the times he's the loyal court jester. He doesn't count the costs. His is a very selfish inclination in the sense that it doesn't consider the larger picture. He sides with identity/personal identity politics that needs no reasons. He's high on the freedom to politik with respect received (and none given) but won't answer the critical questions that come. He doesn't make sense of his conviction but thinks he has a right to make any amount of noise about non-sense. When he tries, he follows pre-sold ideas and phrases and thrives on the arguments to support his favourite politician and party that are taught. 
His counterpart, on the other hand, doesn't feel the need to pick a side. He will when he's convinced. He'll as easily break with that side with equal conviction. If he can't find a side that's good enough, he'll also stay on the fence but also stay sensible and reasonable. 
Playing to win
It's only fair to expect someone to contest to intend to win. Assuming all intentions are good, representatives can't bring change and betterment if they don't win. So pulling all stops to make the dream real can't be wrong. What is out of place, though, is seeing winning as the goal, and not the by product of fighting for the right things. The difference is in your starting point and goal. When the goal is to win, the starting point is just about anywhere that takes them there: freebies, sops, concessions (as much as lockdowns and scrapping). The means justifies the end, and the poeple, issues and solutions have no place. There's no more respectable morality left to boast of, that makes it noteworthy. When it's the opposite, with the goal service and the starting point also service, you have a more sustainable combination. But then, who wants sustainability? We want power, strangely!
The oft asked question between candidates is who will win, and the obvious answer is themselves each. But why bother about it if we're worried about why anyone, or anyone else needs, ought to win. If we stay preoccupied about that, we can keep the winners conversation at minimum and reasonably conclude who should win. The more we bypass what makes one or the other winning worthy, the more we obsess about our own forward growth than who keeps the chair, keeping the main thing the main thing.