Daily Archives: August 10, 2010

The Shoe, Helplessness and Legacy Politics


 By Raza Habib   

The shoe thrown at the President during his ill-timed visit to UK is making more headlines than all the news. While the incidence and its repetition to death on the mainstream media once again highlights  its sickening obsession with the President, but at the same time also puts a question mark on the PPP’s complete inability to either reform the behavior of its President or to simply remove him. After all even if one assumes that entire opposition is due to twisted middleclass morality and media’s irrational obsession with him, the fact is that right now he is actually damaging the party’s popularity at least in the urban areas. In a proper democratic party with a developed mechanism of election and removal of party leadership, Mr. Zardari would have been sent home for pragmatic reasons alone. 

 I am against the selective lynching of the President, and I do think that media is being extremely unfair on some accounts (though not all) but the fact is that whether rightly or wrongly his repute is impinging the party’s repute. As the party has historically identified itself with the Bhutto clan, therefore the current chairman’s repute is completely overshadowing the ideals on which PPP was originally formed.

 This difficult situation is due to the legacy politics model on which the PPP has evolved. In this model the party membership is bound to just obey the current “torch bearer” of the ruling dynasty. The evolution has taken in such a manner that party assumes that  only someone from Bhutto clan (no matter how unpopular or incompetent he is) can keep it intact.  The party needs a Bhutto and if one is not “naturally” available then make Zardari a Bhutto!! Continue reading


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