Saturday, March 2, 2013

Basic Principles in a Political Coalition....

We hear a lot of wranglings in PAKATAN, internal conflict and disagreements, which are often highlighted by the mainstream media. Keadilan-PAS-DAP seemed to be always gunning at each other, challenging each other, provoking each other.That does not seem to be the case in BARISAN. However, once in a while we see things even in BARISAN, going in opposite directions. But, the differences are quickly dispelled.Both coalitions are what coalitions in politics should be- a political marriage of interest and convenience.

In theory the marriage is supposed to result in a strong government with a good representation of all segments of society in the electorate. Conflicting interests, demands and ideologies would be discussed within the coalition and a decision acceptable to all would be taken, thus keeping the conflicts and disagreements within the coalition, preventing them from rocking and splitting up the public as a whole.Thus, it is most natural and even necessary for conflicting interests and demands to be discussed WITHIN the coalition. It is in there that the war will be fought and a compromise attained, to be announced or presented to the electorate as a policy of the coalition party. If, after the announcement, some members of the coalition chose to disagree and continue to attack the decision of the coalition, they should be considered as 'defaulters' and 'turncoats'. Individual member party in the coalition should then take action on the 'defaulters'.

So, why are we so concerned with conflicts and disagreement within the coalition? They are supposed to be the problems of the coalition party to be handled by its leaders. Why are we so concerned with the disagreements between Keadilan, PAS and DAP on certain issues of governance since what really matters is the final policy adopted by the coalition? If you as a member of Keadilan, PAS or DAP don't agree with the policy announced and adopted by the coalition (PAKATAN), then it's a matter which must be resolved between you and your party. This goes for members of UMNO,MCA,_MIC etc in BARISAN as well. If BARISAN had less disagreements in the coalition, less wranglings and less discussions, it does not necessarily mean that every member in the various component parties agree with the policy adopted. Trainers in group dynamics will attest that less vociferous and heated arguments in a group often indicates that the decision of the group may not be supported by all its members. The rowdier and more heated the discussions, the higher is the chance for getting better support from all.

If the concept of coalition parties as assumed above is correct, then we should expect higher levels of discussion and disagreement within the coalition, BEFORE coming out with a policy statement. If on the other hand a coalition is merely a marriage of convenience, it will certainly end up on the rock, sooner or later. The concept of a coalition should be thoroughly understood by political parties and their leaders if the coalition is going to last and serves its purpose well. BARISAN has withstood the test of time in that regard but although not much of the internal struggle is known, little discussion and disagreement could mean that much is being swept under the carpet. PAKATAN on the other hand should adopt the true principles of coalition more if the coalition is going to last and serves its purpose. Otherwise, it will break up even before the GE13 contest.


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norzah said...

tq anonymous.......i'd welcome any opinion on the matter raised.