We Asked Ex-Politicians What It’s Really Like to Be a Politician

It really goes without saying that politicians get a bad rep in society. Centuries of sensationalist headlines have told us that they’re either pathological liars, sexual deviants, thieves, or a combination of all three.

But it’s not like the negative perception isn’t warranted—do I need to bother mentioning the current White House or Rob Ford or Alison Redford or Bill Clinton being blown by his intern? Hell, my hometown even has its fair share of scandals with London, Ontario’s most recent mayor getting caught fucking the deputy mayor.

But despite their reputation and wrongdoings, it’s easy to forget that politicians are people too, and that for the most part, they’re just trying to do a good job and better society (as they see it). Sure, they have the ability to completely alter the reality of communities, cities, and countries, but they still put pants on one leg at a time. That’s why talking with ex-politicians makes for a sobering look at the profession—freed from the shackles of party whips and talking points, can they show us the human side to their profession?

We spoke to a number of Canadian politicians to find out.

Sheila Copps, Liberal Party

Former Deputy Prime Minister, Member of Parliament (Hamilton East), Minister of the Environment, and Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Webber For Congress: Do you feel like you had to lie a lot as a politician?
Sheila Copps: No. Not at all. There are times when you don’t necessarily give out all of the information but I definitely do not lie. Because any lie eventually gets found out. If you’re a liar, you’re not going to do very well.

The bottom line is, like in any other profession there’s always some people who are professional liars, but there are also a lot of honest people in that field. I don’t think they have any more liars per-capita basis than any other field. And I think in fact, especially in the modern world, the liars get found out even quicker.

What’s the worst thing someone has ever said to you while campaigning?

I think the worst thing was, there was a magazine article by Hustler which basically ran a contest asking people to identify which cunt was mine. It was called the hunt for the cunt, can you identify the cunt. That’s probably the worst thing that happened.

I ended up suing them for libel and slander and it was successful.

Do you think politicians are narcissists?

I think you have to have a fairly healthy ego to be a politician. And obviously the upside of a healthy ego is that it can be casual, but there is also a degree of narcissism in all politicians. Not to the extent of Donald Trump, that’s narcissism run amok.

You really have to have a very strong self-identity and a thick skin to survive in politics, or you’d just get wash up within the first week.

What do you think is the biggest misconception of politicians?

That they’re dishonest. People think that politicians are different from other people … you do have good people, some people are very self-absorbed and not so good. And I think politicians are no different than the rest, some honest, some dishonest. But I think there’s certainly a generalization that all politicians are crooks. And you can’t shake it. It’s been going on since time immemorial, it’s the butt of a lot of jokes. It is what it is. I know some politicians who lie, but not all of them.

Is money way better outside of politics?

Oh definitely. Definitely. It’s ironic, I mean a lot of these political problems that people get into, not just in Canada but around the world, often times will be not necessarily with politicians themselves but supporters trying to make money off politicians, because there is a lot of money to be made. There are people who tend to associate themselves with candidates and ministers to enhance their own financial benefit. It’s not always the politicians that have their fingers in the pot.

Roberto Leone, Progressive Conservative party

Former MP for Progressive Conservatives, and member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Served from 2011 – 2014.
Currently professor of political science at Western University.

Webber For Congress: Do you feel like you had to lie a lot as a politician?
Roberto Leone: I don’t think I ever had to lie. I take a lot of politics as how you perceive things in the moment. The fact that you have somebody who’s saying something you disagree with, you’re contesting an idea. So you disagree with an idea and vigorously oppose it, some might construe that as one person being right and one person being wrong but I just think that’s two people trying to debate an issue.

And I think that’s a healthy thing in a democracy.

What was the worse thing someone ever said to you while campaigning?

I couldn’t honestly think of something. I mean I’ve had doors slammed in my face, I’ve been told to get off people’s property. But I think by and large in almost every instance when I was going door knocking, people were polite. They gave you a few seconds of their time and generally speaking a lot of people were polite.

That doesn’t mean that there weren’t instances where people, for whatever reason, tried to get under your skin, or try to distract you from the task. A lot of the times you go to a door where someone will talk to you, and you knew they weren’t going to vote for you, and they’ll ask you a hundred questions to prevent you from going to doors.

Another thing was people ripping my lawn signs. I’ve had hundreds of lawn signs destroyed and lost.

How do you get past those confrontations?

You have to realize that there are a number of different viewpoints in society, some of which are going to align with you and some aren’t. And that’s part of the game. I think it’s a lot easier for a politician to handle that kind of attack.

I think what a lot of people don’t realize is every night when politicians go home, they have families. And families often take that kind of confrontation much differently and personally.

Biggest misconception about politicians?

I guess the biggest one that frustrated me the most was that people believe that you’re only at work when you’re sitting in the legislature. And that when you’re on a recess, that they’re on a holiday.

When you come home on the weekends and during your “holidays” that’s when all of the real action happens. Where you meet all of the constituents, listen to their concerns, and work on their problems.

I would say one of the biggest misconceptions is that they’re never on holidays. That they are always working, checking emails, that they can’t be too distant from what’s going on and that applies if they happen to be on a weekend getaway with their spouse. They’re still checking their phones for messages and trying to stay up-to-date on what’s happening back home.

So I think the misconception is that politicians have lots of holidays, so they don’t do lots of work and they get paid handsomely for it. And this is just not true.

Is money better outside of politics?

Yes for some, but not for all. For me personally, I’m doing better in the private sector than I was in politics but that’s not universally true for everyone. I think that when it comes to compensation, most people will say that being paid a six-figure salary in politics is a decent wage. And there’s a number of people who get involved in politics who, upon getting elected, get a pay bump, more than what they were making in the past.

Alex Atamanenko, NDP

Former MP for NDP, and member of the House of Commons.
Retired.

Webber For Congress: Do you feel like you had to lie a lot as a politician?
Alex Atamanenko: No.

Maybe elaborate on that?

Well I did what I thought was right and tried to maintain integrity and honesty, so I didn’t have a problem with that.

Did you ever feel like you were pressured to fabricate the truth or stretch it out?

I didn’t feel that.

What was the worse thing someone has ever said to you?

Most of all of my campaigns were pretty civil. I guess maybe, I don’t know, last candidate may have said that he didn’t think I was doing my job or representing the people or something like that.

But I was never partial to any real nastiness.

No one ever said anything mean to you? Possibly yelled at you?

Nothing that really stands out to be honest with you.

Do you think politicians are narcissists?

Maybe some. Like anybody else in any other place in society. I think the people that I’ve worked with are in it for the right reason. Regardless of their political beliefs, they want to do something better for the country.

Biggest misconception about politicians?

I think that the biggest misconception is that they don’t do anything. People don’t really understand that most people are in there trying to do their job, working for their constituents, and working hard.

Politicians, the one’s I know, work hard. And many of them have to travel, you know they represent remote ridings so they’re always on the road. They sacrifice a lot of time with their family to do their job.

Do you think the money is way better outside of politics?

Yeah. I think someone who’s doing the job of an MP, doing the same job, would be paid a lot more being in the private sector.

How To Become A Politician: 4 Crucial Steps To Success

Are you looking into how to become a politician? Living the life of a politician can be a very stressful and demanding job. However, the profession can also be very rewarding and eye opening.

To anyone who is interested in becoming a politician- whether local or federal government- be ready for some tough days and long nights in the office. Before you are guaranteed the coveted seat of a politician, though, it takes a bit of preparation. Here are a few tips on how to become a politician.

Becoming a Politician

1. Become Educated: Although it is not required that certain politicians hold a college degree – one in 20 members of Congress doesn’t – it is a good idea to get as much schooling as possible.

Not only will constituents like to see a degree on a candidate’s resume, but the things learned in school can actually be helpful for planning a legislative and governmental future. The other aspect of “becoming educated” is studying up on legislature, government policies and voter patterns.

Politics takes a dedicated person willing to devote their whole being to their campaign. Learning the ropes of government is a bit more involved than merely knowing how to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

2. Acquire Funding: Running for a position in politics is also a money game. Printing campaign posters, hosting charitable events, paying your campaign staff and a laundry list of other costs add up to a hefty bill just to run for a position, let alone hold one.

It is also important to have a steady job before running for office. This allows you to then have some money in the bank and establish resources or even potential voters. U.S. news stated that, “Running for office is a job in itself that no one will pay you for.”

Having friends and business connections is another important part of running for office. Connections with prominent people will allow your campaign to rise in popularity.

Be cautious of how much you spend on your campaign – you want to be able to survive afterward if you don’t end up winning.

3. Be Friendly: When they step in the polling booth, most voters do not actually know exactly which candidate stands for what issues. However, they will remember a candidate’s behavior and whether or not he or she was rude during an interview.

Cordiality and humbleness are a couple of key characteristics that attract voters. Making connections with voters so that they remember you and what you stand for could be the deciding factor between you and a competent running mate.

4. Don’t Let Your Feelings Get Hurt: Politics can be a harsh field that few thrive in. There will be hard times throughout your campaign, but knowing that you could help the lives of thousands of people is a great reward to the hardships you endure as a hopeful politician.

These may sound like some harsh pieces of advice on how to become a politician, but it is only because the politician’s role is a very important one in the United States. These people make, enforce and interpret the laws.

No matter the obstacles, if becoming a politician is your life’s goal then do not let these words, or others, deter you from becoming the next President of the United States (or a Superintendent of Schools, if that is what you so desire). Instead, use them as warnings to avoid road blocks on your journey to political change.

The Truth About Being A Politician’s Child

It was a Friday morning in 1992, Britain had just had an election, and I was on an ice rink. No special reason. You’re in Edinburgh, you’re a posh teenager, it’s the Christmas or Easter holidays, weekday mornings you go to the ice rink. It was a thing. Maybe it still is.

I was only quite recently posh at the time, having moved schools, and I was — in both a figurative general sense and literal ice-skating sense — still finding my feet. My new boarding-school life was pretty good, though. The way you went ice-skating in the holidays was a bit weird, granted, but you could smoke Marlboro at the side and it was a chance to meet girls. Even better, they were girls’-school girls, who had nobody to compare you against. Always my favourite.

Both my parents had been out at the count the night before, with my mother watching my father unexpectedly not crashing out of government. Possibly I’d been at a friend’s house, but I don’t recall. Either way, I was early to the rink and listlessly skated around by myself until I spotted a guy who was a friend of a friend. I remember it clearly. He was wearing a Barbour.

‘Quite a night!’ he said, or words to that effect.

‘Yes,’ I said, warily.

‘I didn’t think we’d win!’ he said cheerfully, and skated off.

We. I’ve never forgotten it. I was 15. My father had been a Conservative politician since I was minus three, and never before had somebody of my own age said the word ‘we’ to me and meant the Tories. Why would they? Being Conservative, as far as I knew, was this odd thing that only my family did, much like the way we were Jewish. When other people raised the issue, which they did often, it was invariably to point out that they or their families were something else.

This was Scotland in the 1990s. I mean, no wonder, right? My mother, who worked for the NHS, used to get the same. ‘I don’t agree with your politics, but…’ was how people apparently used to start every conversation. When I was in the car with my dad, people would quite often flick V-signs or shout things at traffic lights. He’d smile and wave. We’d be stopped on the street, too, even by people who weren’t wholly sure who he was. ‘You’re that guy…’ they’d say. ‘I do the weather,’ he’d say. ‘Oh yeah,’ they’d say.

I’m not whining. Or if I am, I really don’t mean to be. This stuff wasn’t torture. It didn’t remotely negate an otherwise quite glorious adolescence, replete with the sorts of advantages I’m sure you’ll be itching to tell me about in the comments. But it was there. Quite often, I get the sense that people have an entirely erroneous conception of what life is like in a political family. You do not, as appears to be commonly understood, grow up in an atmosphere of certainty and entitlement. Instead you grow up wary and a little nervy; prematurely aware both that not everybody thinks as you do, and of the seemingly bottomless willingness of other-wise pleasant humans to blithely consider people they don’t really know to be absolute scum. In Alan Hollinghurst’s otherwise wonderful The Line of Beauty, the one thing that never rang true to me was the rather cultish loyalty of Gerald Fedden’s family. In real life, at least in my experience, politicians neither get this nor expect it. Or at least no more than anybody else does.

Politicians’ families are the bit of their lives you don’t often see. Which is how it should be. Blair splayed his out for public consumption, and surely regrets it now. Cameron did the same for a while, but seems to have thought better of it. Gordon Brown leaving Downing Street with his two boys was a beautiful moment, precisely because the world had never seen them before. In an interview with Nigel Farage’s wife, Kirsten, after last week’s election, I was reminded that the Ukip leader has four children between the ages of eight and 27. With a surname like that, I do not envy them their life today, nor for the next five years. I wonder how long it takes new people to ask. Nick Clegg’s oldest will be pushing 12 about now. Same.

Addressing a charity lunch a week or so ago, Sarah Vine, the wife of Michael Gove, told her audience that she had considered sending her small children to Italy so as to spare them the ordeal of being told by other children in the playground that nobody liked their dad. Her comments, unsurprisingly, were reported in pretty much every newspaper. Nothing else happened, though. Fleet Street has an army of columnists, many of whom exist to link the personal to the political and will often do so with the most tenuous of hooks. Not one of them dived into this. Nobody asked about it on Question Time. There was no Twitter storm. Nothing.

Obviously, politicians should not be able to hide behind those silent and bewildered children in their homes. Those in the front line know the deal, from Clegg to Gove to Farage. Some political kids end up nuts or in public life, others end up both, or neither. Probably, on average, it’s a boon. But I worry about the way that public sentiment seems to have no technique for connecting with Vine’s revelation; to condemn it or explain it or excuse it or do anything other than simply pretend it just didn’t happen. Back when I was a gossip diarist, I had a sticker on my monitor which read ‘remember people are people’. Politics is pretty ugly right now. I think it might be time to get another one.

9 Monumental Advantages and Disadvantages of Political Parties

Political parties play a vital role in a democracy. A country can only be considered democratic if its elections are proven to constitute a real competition between two or among several candidates who may be backed by political parties or are running independently.

Political parties are organized groups of people who share a set of similar political aims and opinions and aim to influence public policy by getting their candidates elected. The main functions of these parties are to present their candidates and electoral campaigns to the electorate. But they also perform many other tasks in a democratic country. For one, they serve as institutionalized mediators between society and the duly elected representatives who are responsible for deciding and implementing policies. To illustrate, legislators who are affiliated with a political party and meet with civil society representatives seek opinions from individuals or organizations in the process of formulating public policy. By doing so, they are allowing the demands of their members and supporters to be represented in a parliament and in the government.

In a democratic society, political parties perform key duties, including the following:

  • Seeking public policy priorities and civic needs and issues identified by their members and supporters.
  • Educating the people how the political and electoral system and general political values work.
  • Balancing contrasting demands and turning them into general policies.
  • Encouraging citizens to participate in political decisions and turning their opinions into policy options for all.
  • Acting as a mediator between the public and the government.
  • Choosing and training candidates who are worthy to be elected to public office.

Every political party has internal functions that are determined by external forces, such as political culture, electoral system and legal regulations. But internal processes such as the ideological foundations, party history, personality of leaders and staff members and internal political culture are more influential to a party’s internal functions.

In the United States, there is what they call the two-party system. This means that there are two major parties that dominate the elections and the government. Although this nature of political system has its benefits in promoting good for all people, there are those who criticized it for its disadvantages.

To be able to determine whether having two political parties is actually beneficial to a country or not, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of having them.

List of Advantages of Political Parties

1. Political parties are able to present political information to the voting population in a manner that is readily understandable.
By doing so, there is order in the country through the representation of broad political philosophy of the group. As a result, voters become aware of every party’s stance on certain issues. A good example would be the 2012 Presidential Election between Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Barack Obama. Each candidate represented major issues of their respective parties to the public.

2. Political parties provide balance through the accommodation of various interests and opinions.
Both political parties are organized groups with differing political views, which make it important for political parties to make decisions that will favor not only few but also all interests and opinions to keep the loyalty of their supporters.

3. Political parties prevent unexpected shifts in political trends that threaten stability in the government.
The US’ two-party system helps promote stability in the government because there will only be two parties sharing power, which can dissolve or change coalitions immediately. Now, if voters disagree on one political issue, they would generally understand that the candidates represent bigger issues that need more attention. This discourages voters from giving up their support for their party. Additionally, elected officials will have time to focus on long-term policies that benefit the public.

4. Political parties encourage political participation.
As a democratic nation, America allows its citizens to freely express their opinions and to support the political party that shares their interest and opinion. Unlike China, the US government encourages the public to participate and cast their votes at the polls. Hence, the public can contribute in making significant changes that will benefit everyone.

List of Disadvantages of Political Parties

1. Political parties might have a selfish propaganda that could hurt national interest.
When political parties carry vested interests and vicious propagandas that benefit only a few and are against other parties, it damages the country’s political environment. And when a certain group cares more for its members rather than the entire country, it does not only harm the political atmosphere, but also disturbs the nation’s peace and order.

2. Political parties could create factionalism.
A country with a party system could render political life artificial. It could create animosity between parties, encourage jealousy and develop occasional riots and insurrection. As a result, the public is forced to form factions because they could not agree on certain levels.

3. Political parties could ruin individuality.
There may be parties that expect or force the people support and share their views blindly. They might not allow its own people to criticize their shortcomings. In short, the people may not be allowed to form their individual opinions on certain issues because they are expected to follow what their party is telling them.

4. Political parties could encourage corruption.
There will be parties that distribute money to the electorate to secure votes for their candidates. Aside from that, their candidates may be making promises only to persuade the voting population into electing them. But once they are elected into office, they might never deliver to their promises. They might also place those who supported them in higher positions in exchange for their votes.

5. Political parties could deprive the country of talented individuals who can contribute to its success.
This is because people from the opposition parties are most likely excluded from participating in the government for the betterment of the entire nation.

When managed properly, political parties can help encourage the people into participating during elections. This ensures that the government officials appointed into different public offices will serve the majority, not only a few.

7 Perks Of Being A Politician

What is the most lucrative career option available on the Sri Lankan job market? Which occupation offers the best perks, the most prestige, the highest job-satisfaction, the finest benefits, and the best pay? Yes, we know; it does seem rather impossible to single out one solitary job out of all the potential candidates out there (doctors, lawyers, engineers etc), yet we have done it. After giving the matter much serious thought, and carefully analysing all factors of numerous jobs available, we have finally come to a conclusion; the best career you could possibly follow in Sri Lanka is that of… a politician.

Now before you leap to your feet and start dialling the lunatic asylum, do hold on. We most assuredly aren’t mad (or drunk. Or high), and if you give us a minute we can prove our point. In fact, we have carefully compiled a small list of points that are guaranteed to convince you that we are quite undisputedly right. So without further ado, here are five reasons why you should (or should have) become a politician.

1. You Don’t Need Any Educational Qualifications. At All.

One maddening aspect about jobs is that they all require some educational qualification or the other. It’s frustrating, wearisome, and utterly absurd (what on earth does your education have to do with your job, huh?), but that is, unfortunately, the way things are. A doctor requires a fancy medical degree, a lawyer needs to get through law school, a teacher should undergo teacher training… even a pizza delivery boy requires O/L qualifications. Really, it’s enough to put anyone off getting employed. But don’t let that get you down; we’re here to tell you that hope still lives. For, in Sri Lanka, there is one career path that shines above the rest, one job that blessedly requires no diplomas, no degrees, and no qualifications whatsoever… politics!

It’s true! It doesn’t matter if you’re a law graduate, O/L qualified or if you dropped out of school in 3rd grade, there is absolutely no minimal requirement at all. Everyone from the highest academic to the completely unschooled is welcome into the fascinating world of politics with open arms, and no one is going to judge you at all! So if you are one of those people who are too lazy to study, or think that a sound education is overrated, then politics is the place for you.

That said, if you want to become a politician, there are a few things that might work in your favour. For example, brawn is definitely valued over brain. A history of thuggery, an entourage of goons, a thick skin, and the ability to lie through your teeth are also definite plus points. If you don’t possess them, worry not, these are minor skills which can easily be developed with practice.

2. You Can Get A Rs. 70 Million Car, Just Like That

Buying a car is no easy matter. To most of us, it entails years of hard work, earning and saving before our bank balance displays enough figures to afford us a car. And to add to matters, vehicle prices have now gone through the roof, so that the dream of owning a car is fast becoming a distant one to many.

However if you’re a politician, getting yourself a car is about as easy as getting your groceries. In fact ‒ get ready for this, folks ‒ you can get a free vehicle worth up to Rs. 70 million right off the bat, just like that! That’s right, we said Rs. 70 million, and yes, it sounds nuts, but if you’ve been reading the papers these days you’d know that it’s the gospel truth. This alone is enough reason to join politics!

A word to the wise: some simple-minded civilians might accuse you of lavishness, profligacy, and brazen extravagance, but don’t let that get to you. Sure, the vehicle costs more than two or three good-sized houses, the country’s economy is in a deplorable state, and we have just suffered a series of disasters like the floods and landslides, but as a politician, you are working for the country. Anyone with half a brain should realise that these vehicles are necessities rather than luxuries. Besides, with the Sri Lankan roads being in the awful state they are, how the heck could you efficiently carry out your ministerial duties without a Rs. 70 million car?

As an aside, some might point out that the rest of us mortals manage to navigate Sri Lankan roads perfectly well in normal vehicles. Do not let this sway you. You are a politician for crying out loud, what do they expect you to drive? A Maruti?

3. You Get To Be On TV

Have you ever at some point or the other dreamed of being famous? Have you ever pictured yourself on TV, gesticulating forcefully as you speak about the perversion of the world, the terrible state of the nation, the changes you wish to make? Have you ever envisioned your face filling whole pages of the newspaper (especially during election time), head turned artistically to a side, wearing an expression of noble refinement or smiling assurance as you promise to make the country a better place? If your answer is yes to all these (don’t be shy folks, feel free to admit it; we’ve all had strange aspirations from time to time), then politics is the place for you!

And that’s not all; you also get to share your good judgment, wisdom, and ideas with the people of your country. Our politicians have an unshakable reputation for perceptive insight, erudite suggestions and little nuggets of wisdom. The best example we can come up with is that time when Minister Wimal Weerawansa called for a boycott on all American products like Google, McDonalds, and Coca-Cola. It was a brilliant, fail-safe proposal, one which would have completely crippled the American economy and brought the mighty country to its knees; but unfortunately, the government did not implement it. We really have no idea why, but it’s a shameful waste of a brilliant idea. Perhaps it was because the Americans attempted to kill him.

4. You Get To Have A Pet Baby Elephant

Remember that time when you were kid and you always dreamed of having an exciting pet? Remember those days when you fantasized about fierce lions prowling around your bedroom, a leopard dozing on your mango tree, or a zebra grazing in your mother’s flower beds? Well, we don’t have any lions or zebra over here; but what we do have are elephants. And if you are a politician, you get to have a baby elephant of your own!

Owning an elephant is often seen as a symbol of prestige and status, so it is a fitting pet for a righteous and noble politician. Of course, it’s not exactly legal to capture baby elephants from the wild, but you’re a politician for crying out loud! You toil and strive for the betterment of the nation, working tirelessly, slogging away day after day with no thought for yourself; can’t the country spare you one measly little pachyderm in return? And what the heck do people mean by saying that the elephant won’t be happy? The little critter has a Sri Lankan politician as its owner for heaven’s sake, of course it’s happy! And if it isn’t, well… it should be.

However, we must warn you that this perk is not always accessible. Unfortunately, its availability pretty much depends on who runs the show at the top. The present regime, for instance, doesn’t seem to look too kindly upon owning elephants. Spoil sports.

5. You Get To Act Like A Five-Year-Old

Adulthood is a tedious business. Sure, you get to own a bank account, legally drive, and wear heels, but being grown up is just so tiresome. You must take responsibility for your actions, act with dignity, integrity and decorum, and develop a set of interior rules and inhibitions that act as a brake on your more immature impulses (like when your snotty colleague is driving you up the wall, and your first impulse is to sock him one, but you can’t because you’re an adult, and adults simply don’t do stuff like that).

However, things work a bit differently if you are a politician. You see, politics gives you the freedom to let go of your inhibitions and act on impulse; in other words, you get to go back to toddlerhood. For example, if things aren’t going the way you want them to, simply punch the offender in the gut. Someone making statements you don’t like? Get him in a headlock! Parliamentary session not to your liking? Grab the mace and make a run for it! Who gives a fig for etiquette and decorum? Civil conversation and negotiation never resolve anything, but action of this sort does.

To put it in a nutshell, being a politician means that you get to act like a five-year-old whilst retaining all your adult privileges (driving license, bank accounts, credit cards etc) at the same time. Of course, you might lose your dignity in the process, but who cares? You can be a kid again!
Now if that isn’t a perk, we don’t know what is.

6. You Get The Finest Singaporean Healthcare

Got some head injuries after that last shoot-out you were in? In need of a medical check-up? Don’t worry about it; being a Sri Lankan politician automatically entitles you to the finest healthcare facilities you can get… all the way in Singapore. And the best part? You don’t have to pay a cent for it!

Of course, the more finicky people of the country often question this. What entitles a politician to such luxury? Is healthcare equity a farce? And most importantly, when the Health Minister himself flies off to Singaporean hospital for a medical check-up, what does this say about the state of our local healthcare? We’re not really sure about the answers ourselves, but we presume it has something to do with the fact that when you become a politician, you slowly evolve into a superior being with a physiology far more complex than that of our humble commoners’ and completely beyond the scope of our local hospitals. Since we obviously have neither the doctors nor the facilities capable of handling the complexities of your system, you will probably be flown off, post-haste to Singapore if you so much as sneeze. Sure, this costs quite a nice sum of cash, but heck, you need to be in perfect health if you are going to help run a country.
However, a word of warning; we must point out that Singapore might not be the best place if you’re suffering from memory loss. Former MP Duminda Silva still appears to be missing a certain key memory.

7. And Finally… You Can Do Anything You Want, Whenever You Want

Yep, you read that right. You can literally do anything you like, at any time, no questions asked. Of course, being a noble politician as pure as driven snow, there is no chance that you’ll ever do anything questionable, but as pure and honest as they are, we do concede that politicians are human beings (albeit superior ones), and human beings are subject to mistakes. So basically, you can (by mistake of course) cheat, lie, swindle, steal state funds, misuse state funds, kidnap people, assault people, threaten people, and tie people to trees… and get away with it. Sure, you might get caught, but that’s just a minor hiccough. The most you will suffer will be a few days in the prison hospital (politicians have this uncanny tendency to fall ill at the moment of arrest) before being released on bail. And really, at this point, you would have developed such a thick skin that a few days in remand wouldn’t unnerve you in the least.

These are just a fraction of the perks a Sri Lankan politician enjoys; there are lots more we can dig up if we put our minds to it, but we didn’t want to overdo the thing, or make it sound too good to be true. So have we proven our point or not? Do these five little arguments have you convinced that being a politician is the most rewarding job available in the country? Do you now find yourself wishing that you had joined politics instead of doing that medical degree? Well, don’t bang yourself on the head about it; it’s never too late to start. And if you do take our advice and ever make it to parliament one day, do drop us a line and let us know how you are doing. Or perhaps we might catch a glimpse of you in the news as you rugby-tackle your colleague in parliament, or get into the prison bus.