Recently I was reading a news column the best predictive model for the US presidential election projects Donald Trump winning the election in November with a caveat the creator of the model himself did not trust the prediction of his model as he believed all the assumptions the model uses don’t fit in this election year as this year election is a Black Swan Election. Now what does that really mean? The possibility of Donald Trump being the Presidential Election was improbable to begin with which in the end became a possibility but still is improbable in any given scenario. The highly unlikely event of Donald Trump being elected as a Republican Nominee is for all practical reasons is being described as a black swan event by the creator of the so called model which had the best track record of predicting the presidential election winner from 1992.
Black Swans? They do exist. The black swan (Cygnus atratus) is a large waterbird, a species of swan, which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. Now how does that matter if black swans exist or not. It does matter because before the discovery of Black swans in Australia the existence of a Black swan was seen as a highly improbable event. The phrase “black swan” derives from a Latin expression; its oldest known occurrence is the poet Juvenal’s characterization of something being “rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno” (“a rare bird in the lands and very much like a black swan”). When the phrase was coined, the black swan was presumed not to exist. So that was in short how the phrase Black Swan Event was coined to describe an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight.
Continue reading White Swans Grey Swans Black Swans And Turkeys. How Not To Be Like a Turkey And Understanding The Black Swan Event.
Yes We Can! That was the famous slogan of 2008. Obama charmed America with his slogan Yes we can and sure he made it to the presidency by constantly reminding everyone Yes we can. Eight years down the lane here we are as we remember the slogan yes we can but what really changed in the past eight years. Obama Care ? Obamas Dream Healthcare plan Apart from that there was really no tectonic change in the land scape of American Politics. And again in 2016 we now hear all type of slogans “Make America Great Again”. Is it that simple make a catchy slogan and make your way to the white house. Its promises galore but when the push comes to the shove all promises are buried under the carpet.
Rewind 2014 the savior of Indian Politics Narendra Modi bulldozed his opponents with the slogan “Good days are round the Corner” and made promises plenty to a frustrated Indian electorate. But two years later the Good days round the corner don’t seem to be around the corner as he promised. Well is that how political maneuvering works? Relentlessly attack your opponents and promise a utopian pipe dream to the gullible electorate who vote just for a dream of a better future. When politician’s are out there campaigning do they really say things which they can really accomplish or just say things which they have no clue how to accomplish. This election cycle as Donald Trump , Hillary and Bernie are slugging it out there are all types of promises being made to their core constituents but who in their sane mind believes they will follow through all their promises once they are elected. As much every politician who is trying to get elected promises change accomplishing change is never the real objective but maintaining the status Quo is the real alternative.
Do Politicians really try to keep up with their rhetoric once they are voted to power? Not totally discounting the true intention of the politicians to keep up with their promises the political system is inbuilt to thwart change. The recent happenings in American and Indian Politics two most important democracies in the world highlight immense resistance to change with political parties sticking to their core ideologies and refraining from cooperating with the other party in passing any worthwhile legislative action promising a tectonic change! So In spite of all politicians promising Great change before they assume office often face hurdles in the name of partisan politics stifling their efforts to implement their promised agendas leading to the so called political stale mate or status quo.
In the deeply rooted ideological divide all politicians during the election cycle try their level best to strike an emotional chord with their core constituents and resort to a populist agenda for if they can arouse the populist sentiment and convert the sentiment to votes they have accomplished their first mission “Getting Elected”. Every politician knows that the key to winning elections is to make great promises. Campaigners promise to cure the ills of society including taxes, war, government corruption, and pollution. Instead, if elected, they will bring about vast improvements in education, employment, infrastructure, and the economy. But once elected can they do justice to their populist agenda as Donald Trump has promised to build a Great Wall and Take China to task? Well we have to wait and see.
In many ways, voters are the eternal optimists who can’t learn from experience. Voters want to believe that politicians will improve their lives. As much the role of the politicians is to provide a stable government and provide an ecosystem for a stable society it’s unrealistic to expect that government policies would improve the lives of the people. At the least politicians and government can provide a safety net to the people and ensure their security but beyond this if the voters expect that politicians are in the game to improve their lives they better accept the reality politicians are in the game to win elections and not to disturb the status quo and get reelected if they can resell their Promises.