Sometimes words do speak louder than actions.
Zimbabwean politicians and media practitioners describe citizens interestingly. Election time or not, they refer to citizens as the electorate. For comparison, Americans in these circles refer to citizens as tax payers even during their election process. This is a fundamental difference!
When citizens are seen as tax payers it gives an idea of them being the boss. There is need to be accountable to the people and the politician seeks to give them value for money.
When citizens are seen as an electorate they are a mass of people that gets to elect the boss. The objective becomes to manipulate them and “buy them” so you stay/get in power. It becomes a game of gimmicks and short sighted policies. The world over, the politician’s “first and most important” job is to get re-elected. This is a weakness in the system but in a situation where the citizens are merely the electorate the crack is at disaster levels.
Even viewing citizens as tax payers is myopic. How about those who don’t pay tax? How about those who pay more tax than others? Children are the future of any nation but they don’t pay tax do they? Well maybe VAT or equivalent. Not everything can be reduced to monetary terms therefore some decisions will be difficult when citizens are tax payers.
Politicians should just see citizens as citizens. They are equals. They have rights and claims.
I am no political scientist or psychologist but I think words betray our true attitudes toward a matter. Ever heard someone describe life as a journey and another as a battle? Yet another as a bitch?
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