Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Politics: Why I don't have an opinion

So, the elections are coming up. And suddenly everyone wants to know my PoV about all things political. And all this questioning made me realize, that I don't have an opinion. (This does not mean that I won't/don't want to vote. It simply means that I do not have an opinion.)

It's surprising, really, because I usually have opinions about everything, quite strong ones at that. So it got me thinking. WHY don't I have an opinion about politics?

Is it because politics is boring? Au contraire, I actually think I'd find it quite entertaining. Enlightening, even (not sarcastic, here).

Is it because I lack interest? Nope. That couldn't be it either. Because I always make it a point to be interested in matters that can affect my life. And, however tangentially, I know that politics certainly can.

So what is it, then, that keeps me from having an opinion? Very simply put, it is the lack of facts and figures I can trust.

When it comes to politics, everything is obscure. All I have is a whole lot of 'he said, she said'. And I find it ridiculously hard to form an opinion based on others' opinions (and yes, they are opinions till they can be proven beyond a shadow of doubt). Who do I believe? What part of what they claim do I believe?

In the world of politics, everything can be (and often is) fabricated. Even 'achievements'. He has accomplished so and so, it's there for everyone to see. Sure, but have people actually gone and verified this? Are those people trustworthy? And even if the answer to both these questions is a yes, there is still the matter of how much should have been achieved vs how much actually has been achieved (you know, how much was allocated to the project and how much towards 'personal' benefit).

Despite all the 'sting' operations, and (sometimes) really good reporting, we are just not privy to 'inside details'. We might never be. Nothing is transparent, nothing is 'out there'. Hence, my opinion cannot be an 'informed' one, where I am armed with the truth of the matter. Neither can it be 'instinctive' or 'experiential', like it often is for things I can experience, like music or movies.

An opinion that is based on any factors other than these, I believe, is half-baked. And that can be quite dangerous. Especially in waters as murky as this. I'd rather not have an opinion till my vision is clear.