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Political Opportunism Vs. Political Conviction

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Political Opportunism vs. Political Conviction

In the midst of the appointment of Portia Simpson Miller and the electoral victory of Dayton Campbell as Prime Minister of Jamaica and President of the Guild of Students respectively there has been a lot of interest in discussing the political climate on the Mona Campus. In the lecture rooms, hang-out points, halls of residence and in there evening and morning commute the students of this campus have been discussing politics. The euphoria of the moment has been enticing many people to get involved in the political process, in both core and peripheral roles. There are those who will simply stand at the sidelines as spectators providing moral support and then there is that set that is ready and willing to get on the field and compete in this game of politics. One of those things that are constant in our political process is the difference between those who are political opportunist and those that hold a strong political conviction.

The political opportunist and the politically convicted are two distinct political personalities that show themselves up in the political process. The political opportunist is the individual that defines politics in its most vulgar form; politics is seen purely as a game, a test of wits and chance. Thus politics is a game that the opportunist tries to win at all cost in an attempt to attain the glitz, glamour and economic benefits of state power. The politically convicted are those individuals with clearly defined political principles and well articulated ideological stances. The individual with a strong political conviction is focused on meaningful social and economic change. Policy implementation and creation are the most important principles for the politically convicted. Electoral victory is a means to an end and the features of state power are simply accompaniments that are never denied and humbly accepted. In plain terms the opportunist is geared at ripping off the state, while the politically convicted is geared at achieving real social change.

There are certain character traits that determine the political opportunist and the politically convicted that one should look for when involved in politics. The political opportunist is a savvy fox, always trying to negotiate a space in the political environment. They lack a consistent position on any issue, due to the fact that they have no true position. One of the most notable features of the opportunist is there inability to speak clearly on any issue, the opportunist speaks out of both sides of there mouth. The politically convicted on the other hand is self assured, confident, daring, hard hitting and consistent in advocating a political position. In dealing with individuals with a political conviction, it is absolutely clear how they analyze an issue and where they stand on the issue. Analyzing an issue is never hard, while for the opportunist engaging in the analytic is a precarious task in which the opportunist has to define a position that does not place him/her in a box.

In political life the political opportunist is a "know it all" because politics is viewed as game the opportunist cannot afford to lose. Thus in political victory and defeat opportunistic politicians never lose, always claiming that they knew the political outcome all along. For the opportunist hindsight is always mistaken for

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