The Sri Lankan Voter
Most of our politicians are sanctimonious, bigoted, corrupt thugs; they are parasites sucking the blood out of our society.
And yet I don’t blame them. I don’t like them, but I don’t blame them. I blame our voters, most of whom if given the chance to become politicians, would turn into sanctimonious, bigoted, bribe taking, scum sucking thugs themselves. George Carlin (may he rest in peace) said it best: “garbage in, garbage out: if you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re gonna get selfish, ignorant leaders.”
Our politicians like to hang out with Buddhist priests (who like to hang out with politicians). The moral nobility that is represented in the saffron robe is a good place for a politician to hide their sins. When a politician known to be a drug dealer piously shuts down all bars in his area for Vesak while the priests cluck approvingly, you’d expect everyone to think this is a farce. When they seek blessings from the purveyors of non-violence, compassion, and loving-kindness to promote war, you’d expect everyone to think this is ironic. Surely everyone gets that, right? No, not everyone. Our Â voters don’t get it.
When they suppress the freedom of speech and freedom of expression and call the media traitors, you’d expect everyone to get that they’re trying to hide something.Â When a deputy editor of a newspaper is kidnapped and tortured after he revealed that the army just bought an S-class Mercedes for their commander, you’d expect them to get that maybe this war is really about making money. No, not everyone. Our voters don’t get it.
When they spend three billion on a failed airline, but our teachers are underpaid, our schools are falling apart, and our children don’t know what the Internet is, you’d expect everyone to get that maybe this is unfair. No, not everyone. Our Â voters don’t get it.
They make patriotic speeches on how we absolutely do not need NGOs (who built most of those tsunami houses), and we do not need international aid (guess who funded the Kelaniya overpass? England; the Colombo-Matara Highway? Asian Development Bank). And of course we don’t care what the Europeans think about us (but we want duty free access to their markets, thank you very much). Everyone gets that this is just a gimmick to put a little patriotic fire in our belly in place of ever-increasingly priced food. No, not everyone. Our voters don’t get it.
Everyone says our political system needs to be changed. I happen to think the system is fine. After all, we get a long list of people to pick from in the general elections; we just pick the wrong ones. So the next time you get run off the road by a convoy of Defenders escorting a retinue of armour plated luxury cars, don’t curse the politicians-they are not the problem.
Look in the mirror; the problem is YOU.