The Third Rail

Posted by M ws On Thursday, January 5, 2012 2 comments
At one point in time, the Third Force was the talk of town when some exalted the idea whilst others rejected the concept only to acquiesce in time to come. However, how many are aware of The Third Rail?

According to Wikipedia, "The third rail of a nation's politics is a metaphor for any issue so controversial that it is "charged" and "untouchable"; any politician or public official who dares to broach the subject will invariably suffer politically. The term is most commonly used in North America. The "third rail of American politics" is often said to be the reform of social security; the "third rail" of Canadian politics is said to be health care.

The Chicago Tribune carried an interesting post on The Third Rail in September 2010 HERE. The New York Times also featured an article on the same topic HERE.

In very simple terms, the third rail refers to political suicide which Wikipedia has defined as "the concept that a politician or political party would lose widespread support and confidence from the voting public by proposing actions that are seen as unfavourable or that might threaten the status quo. A politician who committed political suicide might be forced to resign. A political party could stand to lose followers by deviating greatly from its core values and policies. Another term for such policies are "the third rail". Cynics may blame this concept as a reason for a lack of real change or progress in society and that actions described as political suicide are usually sound intentions shot down by reactionism and fear of change."

Mike Foil of the Canada Free Press said it beautifully in his post on Political Suicide:

We are being told that it would be unreasonable for us to expect that politician to actually do what they said they would do because the result would likely end their political career. To take that one step further, it means; keeping a promise made or taking a bold step, which may be a career ending move, is not something we can honestly expect a politician to do. Why? Because we have to realize that their careers are more important than doing what is best for the country as a whole. 
Sometimes, doing what is right and best for America is not the same as what might be best for the person who has to do the hard work or make the tough decision. Doing what is best for the long-term stability of our nation may be very unpopular with the masses marching down the streets of our cities. Doing what is right, when circumstances demand hard choices, can very well end a political career. It might even launch a recall election. But, that should not be the determining factor! Their careers are not more important to the people back home than saving our country. READ MORE HERE.
Has someone been committing political suicide in this country or otherwise?

If it is indeed a hara-kiri (seppuku or disambiguation), is it out of noble intentions or poor communication strategies, spinning for reasons known to the spinners alone or due to a darker side slowly emerging in a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde tradition?

Whatever the case, Malaysians must unite and stay focused to have a massive swing in votes for change to happen when a new and upright government is put into place!

Vote wisely in the next elections!

2 comments to The Third Rail

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Comment from Saudara Wan Sharif which I accidentally clicked the wrong button and subsequently disappeared (My apologies to Saudara Wan Sharif for my carelessness):

    Wan Sharif has left a new comment on your post "The Third Rail":

    May our future government be better than before!


  1. says:

    pak yeh Another word for 3rd rail is derail. Ha,ha.
    In history the 3rd force is often the hypocrite or in Spaghetti Western term, the ugly.
    Refer my article..(Refer

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