Electable is a person who is able to be elected to office. In Pakistani feudal context, political parties are simply vehicles for the ‘electable’ to gain power. No party can come to power without the colossal bolster of these so-called electables.
You may say Pakistani politics is always about electable politicos, in the harsh term, turncoats, and is hardly about political parties. In the third world countries like ours, where ignorance is the norm and ethnicity, clans and kinship is the culture; Primordialism or perennials is the order of the day. In other words, primordialism is the argument which contends that nations are ancient, natural phenomena in which ignorant street-man and self-centered elite prioritize traditional electables to guard their ethnic and vested interests respectively.
Political parties are relatively recent robots which can only enter into the top power corridor if being controlled by the traditional command of these electables. So if anyone thinks that by ignoring the culture of lotacracy, turncoats/electables, any political party can grab the top power echelon, then he is definitely living in the fool’s paradise.
In 2013 polls, Imran as being an idealist was oblivious of this very science of ‘electables’. He didn’t even keep himself in touch with the simple political reality: the constituencies, in which the liaison of political parties and local factional leaders existed, the chance of victory was higher. The PML-N then assiduously adopted that approach as a result of which majority of its candidates got a blue ribbon in 2013. Now, on the eve of 2018 general polls, the PTI is also on the robust bandwagon of ‘electables’ which is aptly based upon realism.
The art of electables is the art of power. They are accustomed to gauging the shifting balance of power from one party to another. Their changing allegiance proves to be a decisive factor in determining the enthronement of King Party. In sum, no political party can match the titanic mobilization potential of primordial webs of electables due to the contiguity and reciprocity with the local people.
The PTI’s strategy to win over Islamabad is simple: To win Punjab first. Imran will have to win 115-130 NA seats to implement his idealist plans with help of other coalition parties. It means, he direly needs at least 60-70 seats from Punjab alone. The slogan of Change is only to be materialized if the PTI is voted to power. Though the change sloganeering is a glut, yet even this supererogation is patchy without the baptism of power. Though lately yet finally Imran is all ears upon the call of pragmatism before elections. That’s good. Better late than never.
But it’s also pertinent to mention here that the pros and cons of turncoats or so-called electables go hand-in-hand. Where they get the party elected to the top slot on the one hand, they also precipitate the sheer fall on the other. They are controlled and manipulated by non-democratic forces when the King Party does not appeal to the echoes of populism. That’s when slogans prove to be hollow. That’s when friction pollutes the symmetric civ-mil power calculus. At one moment, turncoats are engines of power. On the other, they morph into the Frankenstein’s monsters by making dents and cracks in the very same power structure.
There is doubt whether Imran fully comprehends the science of ‘electables’ or not. But one thing is evident. Without electables, victory in the upcoming polls is out of the question. The acid test will start after the victory. Before the victory, Imran will have to rely upon the pragmatic premise: End justifies the means. I don’t know what’s Imran’s end? Power/Premiership as an end or power as a mean to bring about change in terms of the higher end. To realize the promises of his manifesto, his coming to power is imperative. For power, he direly needs the immoral means in terms of so-called ‘electables’. Time will tell who wins. Imran or as usual ‘electables’. I pray, Pakistan.