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The art of successful politicking

5 August 2017 at 00:10 | 1689 views


By Dr. Yahya Kalokoh, USA.

A successful politician is one who has a WHY, WHEN, and WHERE strategy to politick for office.

On the WHY, an astute politician is one who has a clear, simple, and appealing message on WHY he/she is running for a position. They need to have an answer to the fundamental question on why they want to run for office. The aspirant needs to understand the party he is using to run, the electorate, the culture, the main players/stakeholders, and create an effective communication message and network.

Most importantly he/she needs to have an in depth understanding of party culture and the power brokers within.

The WHEN strategy involves having a clear understanding of the sequence of the races to fight. For example, in the race for flagbearer, a smart politician should not run a general election strategy. You must determine the unique dynamics of running a primary race which is different from a general election. Determine the main stakeholders, and know how to strategically position yourself in the process. Never use a general election strategy during a primary contest. You will end up spending lots of money with no appreciable traction with the powers that be. You will end up with cheap popularity but no successful return.

The WHERE Strategy in our politics entails understanding the projected power base for the position you are competing for. An aspirant must clearly understand the regional/district power balance dynamics. The main question involves determining the likelihood of what region/district is most likely to be considered for the position of flagbearer. Spend more time and resources in researching and capturing the support of the stakeholders in that environment. Do not use a "50 States" like in America during the primary season, because it’s not the entire country that will be voting in the primary.

To be really very successful, an aspirant must have an in depth understanding of the culture of the party platform he is using to contest. Understanding party culture and its functions in this regard will be of tremendous help to a successful run.

Very Important

A smart politician competing in a primary, under the ruling party in our politics should never roll out his/her manifesto during the primary campaign. A manifesto is about the future, and in many ways requires bold statements. Such statements, if rolled out may end up ruffling the feathers of party power brokers, the culture, and the status quo. It will be suicidal and will lead to failure.

Lastly, never you wait to fatten the pig on the day of the sale. Do not wait until the election season to contest the primary. If you are an outsider, who never had strong relationships with the party, start investing in the party very early. Understand the main philosophy of the party very early and create a strategy to penetrate it. It will be foolhardy for an outsider to use the party goodwill extended to claim legitimacy for a flagbearer position, especially if the culture of the party is quite different from their political leanings.


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