By Dr. Faiza Chema
There is no second opinion about the fact that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is the number one crowd pulling political party in Pakistan. Interestingly this party has also been successful in its global representation as compared to its rivals. PTI has setup its international chapters worldwide to provide overseas Pakistanis, a platform to stay politically connected with the mother party.
Australian international chapter of PTI is up for its annual intra-party elections. Given that New South Wales state is the most politically active Australian chapter, it holds a very interesting history in terms of intra-party election dynamics.
This year, two panels are running in elections in PTI NSW. Nominally, #TabdeeliHumSay is the panel being led by Mr Rana Ahsan and #Visionaries panel on the other hand has Mr Waqas Bashir as front man. Both the teams have already submitted their nomination papers and are waiting for their fortune cookie to open on13th of December 2016.
A very active election campaign is going on at the moment from both the sides and as part of this journey, a debate event was organised.
Yesterday, I had the chance to attend this panel debate event that hosted eligible voters who had (apparently) successfully become members before the cut-off date. This was to facilitate the voters in decision making related to choosing the best leadership for their Chapter.
Both the panels got the chance to briefly introduce them and then present their respective manifestos before the attendees.
Overall it was a reasonable attempt of capability display from both the sides.
As it is said that, this world is a relative and comparative study and there is nothing absolute here ( does not makes sense then where did the absolute K constant come from). Therefore, in order to choose the next face of PTI NSW, a thorough comparison is necessary.
Coming to comparison of both the panels, Let us take an investigative approach.
As a matter of fact, the most important ingredients of a perfect political tea combo to win in elections are Timing Experience and Approach along with the sprinkle of unity.
Timing is the key factor here, which takes into account the NERVES’ test around certain times and the decision making under certain circumstances.
Panel #TabdeeliHumse effectively made the timely decision of introducing a young and Brand New Face to represent which sets in well with their slogan of change.
In contrast, despite being aware that in PTI, people believe in CHANGE in the first place, and other panel has already used this card wisely, Panel #Visionaries failed to respect this immensely important point and put forward the same person (no Change off course) who had already run the chapter previously. Had they chosen another candidate, for the President position, say their current GS for instance, picture might have been different for them overall.
The second ingredient, Experience, Yes undoubtedly the visionaries team consisted of all experienced people, who had either run or won the elections. Panel #TabdeeliHumse on the other hand has all the candidates who had never tried to lead from front.
Approach, which is the last but not the least focus point here, is the highest weightage holding bit.
Certainly it was clear that the panel #visionaries did not come up with anything new and strong enough in their manifesto to attract voters but merely it was the repetition of their previous achievements.
In contrast, Rana Ahsan (nominee President for Tabdeeli panel) shared a very detailed agenda and strategies to bring the POSITIVE change in the chapter. They both discussed the importance of financial contributions towards Pakistan but Ahsan took more of the holistic approach by highlighting that the most important role for members to play here is promotion of better image of Pakistan. Mr Waqas Bashir unfortunately put finances on number one priority without realizing that if other objectives are met, finances would automatically follow without hurdle but if finances are number one priority then many members can be lost without even realizing that this is how the Think Tank can lose its assets.
As a matter of fact, Actions speak louder than words, the actions of #Tabdeeli panel were well aligned with their manifesto for example inclusiveness of women. Disappointingly, visionaries’ idea of not having any female on board prompted me to wonder, does this panel believe it to be perfectly fine for them not having any representation of such major stakeholders? And still expecting for support from female voters? Unfortunately the claims of progress that they were continuously making throughout their speeches (during their tenure) were nulled by their opposite actions. In the list of 1009 members, they could not find even a single lady to join them in front line? How sad!
In short, it is a fact that visionaries team has more experienced candidates than TaBdeeLi Humse group.
Despite this fact, the actual outweighing the factors of timely made choices, Male:Female ratio, clarity in manifesto and parallel running of actions and plans definitely makes it visibly clear that TaBdeeLi humse is the real leadership that PTI NSW members are after.
‘Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past are certain to miss the future.’