When party coordinators go berserk

Political coordinators and party workers are unquestionably important in politics as agents of political parties for promotional, administrative and fundraising activities.

As ambassador or messenger of a political party or candidate, party coordinators are the key players that people at the grassroots look upon. And it goes without saying that these coordinators show and must exhibit the values and principles of the party they represent; thus demanding them to lead by examples.

However, going by the conducts of some ardent political coordinators lately, it appears that leading by examples is something a long way away. Take the recent case, where a party coordinator was arrested after he had allegedly threatened to kill a registered member of another party on social media. The coordinator had verbally defamed and threatened the registered member.

The above case is not only about how the social media is increasingly being misused to propagate dangerous political views, but also about a party coordinator inciting violence. Is this what we expect from our party coordinators and workers? Are these the duties and responsibilities party coordinators must shoulder?

There is no denying that these coordinators and workers need to work to garner support. Or they are trying to garner support. But the nature of politics they are involved at if we look at the above case is some sorts of belligerency. Forget letting these kinds of people propagate such politics, we shouldnโ€™t even tolerate these kinds of people. The seeds of discord that we allow to be sowed now will only bear more hatred and division later, which would undeniably be dangerous.

Itโ€™s therefore worth contemplating and scrutinizing the kinds of politics these party coordinators and workers are playing at the grassroots or community level. What kinds of politicking are happening at the grassroots level? Is there even a code of conduct for them set by the party or relevant agencies? Itโ€™s important because these are the people that the common people listen to and follow.

Meanwhile, these party coordinators or workers alone cannot be blamed. The obligation falls on the political party as well. Even the electoral laws require a political party and/or candidate to ensure that their supporters do not indulge in any unlawful act or corrupt practices and that they must avoid defamatory and derogatory attacks on other parties or personalities and avoid inflammatory language, provocative actions or images at all forums and at all times.

The political parties as such have to take responsibility of their coordinators and workers as the latter are selected, elected and paid by them. Political parties should be held accountable for the conduct of people under them. Just because somebody is influential, doesnโ€™t mean that he/she should be appointed? Political parties need to think of the larger picture.