Do you think a celebrity would make a good minister?
Why should professional politicians be any better at being a minister than anyone else? What extra skills do they have that means they will be successful at running the country? Celebrities are successful in their own fields, they have often taken a hold of their life and made a success out of unpromising backgrounds. Celebrities are engaged in all sorts of areas, sports, films, TV, music, modelling etc., these require various skills or gifts such as charisma, leadership, a belief that you know what is right, even management skills. Our culture increasingly idolises celebrity and politicians try to have some stardust rub off on them but would a celebrity have what it takes to make a good minister?
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
Know what they want.
Most stars that are self made (as opposed to those that are manufactured by the industry) have strong views about the direction they wish to go in. This is precisely what is needed in a minister.
Too often ministers are simply lackys of the Prime Minister or the party machine, doing what they are told. Instead they should have a vision about what they want to achieve in order to be able to achieve it. While many celebrities would not be any better at this than many ministers there is no reason why they should not be at least as good at defining what they want to get out of their ministry.
Self-made movie/soap-star/sitcom stars are being referred not the spoiled brat princes & princesses of the industry with their many excesses or publicity stunts in a number of cases.
Every actor has to follow a script(written by someone else), be on set on call, listen to the directors and producers. But they are more than lackys/yes-men in the sense that they must improvise what is on their plate to make something of themselves, they have to be in the picture and being bland mindless drones does not help them.
And it does not help ministers either, ministers need to be great public speakers and have certain ideals/beliefs that they hold dear for them to be passionate and convincing much like actors do. And only this with help them achieve objectives otherwise they could take a backseat and say nothing doing as is the case for most mediocre ministers.
Acting requires the sincerity & the passion that a good minister must possess to get anywhere. Acting requires research.Acting requires memorisation..Acting requires following orders while still making your mark.
bad actors lack in the same things that bad ministers do. terrible PR,not convincing,not invested, not reading your lines and not ambitiously goal-oriented.
I am afraid you are confused between the roles of a Minister and a Dictator. A dictator is free to act in any way he likes, to strive forward with his own plans based on nothing more than his own desire, and in this respect, yes celebrities are like this. Without a brazen thought to what this country needs, these people just do what they want with no consideration of what is required of them by a society. However, the role of minister is very much different. A minister needs to listen to the advice of those who know more, they need to balance the needs across the nation. They cannot steam ahead based on a determination founded on nothing more than what they want.
Celebrities jobs are what they are good at. No one asks would a librarian or a teacher make a good prime minister. Just because they are famous does not make them able to run the country, celebrities and prime ministers are two completley different things and we need to stop confusing them.
Whilst celebrities are good at acting, or singing, or cooking, none of those skills would come in handy in ruling. A minister should be made of people who knows what they are getting themselves into when they venture into politics. They must be formally educated politically, the least is they know law, so that they know how to manage the mass for entertaining is not at all intertwined with managing people's rights and opinions and turning them into an action that can lead to better harmony.
It will inspire children into politics
Currently, Britain is suffering from apathy towards politics. We have a 60% voter turnout the abstaining votes come from mainly the youth. They do not see the point in voting. They see politics as not being in touch with their lives. If we got celebrities into Government, celebrities of the calibre of Stephen Fry and Ricky Gervais, intelligent perspective celebrities, then we would inspire the young to vote. Not only is voting important, but young adults will grow up in a political world they are interested in. The will want to listen to the political strategies, they will want to read the newspaper, this ironically result in a more intelligent and percept nation than that we have now under the rule of Oxford/Cambridge graduates.
Counter: Political harbingers do not automatically have blind faith in what they perceive as dumb actors. Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, and all the critical hype around his character.
Has he done anything more foolish than his counterparts in office? No, there's nothing spectacularly newsworthy in his policies but he has a Hollywood biopic.
This brings the danger that the opposite would happen, and those who are interested in the celebrity as a celebrity but not the actual political views of the celebrity will vote for them as a politician regardless of what policies they are voting for.
Celebrities are generally selfish
If you ask any politican, they will say they entered politics to help others, improve their local area or to make a difference. These are all commendable reasons for entering politics. Despite the intense media scrutiny, the majority of MP's go generally unnoticed, on relatively modest wages. A Celebrity on the other hand, in most cases will enter politics for some sort of personal gain - increased publicity or improve their image for example. These are the totally wrong reasons to enter such a profession and could do real damage to a constituency.
Lots of celebrities are engaged in selfless activities as well, it would be unfair to simply categorise all celebrities as selfish. Many celebrities are involved in campaigns using their celebrity status to do good works around the world. It may not be as selfless as throwing everything away to be a doctor in some remote part of Africa but when acting as an ambassador they are promoting issues and at the same time giving up time they could be using to be bringing in their next paycheck.
Second Counter: most men/women in office are thought of as being selfish and their words are digested like hollow corks and empty bottles.Nobody trusts politicians, people play party favorites but nobody says "A politician said it so it must be true no political agenda attached"
Since when are politicians not image conscious? Umm to win votes one must win public/party support. This comes from impressing people and not reveling the skeletons in one's closet.
People in general enter professions with their image in mind and sometimes with heart. Celebrities are programmed to incorporate hearty/sincerity/believability/credentials/ credibility/credo into their performances if they want to be any good. The modern acting mantra is:To be convincing, you have to convince yourself and you can't speak to a role you move onto something closer to your heart.
we need good all rounders to lead us forward
What do ministers have that celebrities do not? Qualifications! A basic education that did not entail stage school is a minimum requirement for any one to run this country. Surely we would not want Cheryl Cole and the like to lead us forward into the future. Listening to her meaningless music is torturous enough, try long speeches, see how long Britain lasts then. For whilst celebrities maybe good (arguably) in one sphere of life, be it sport music or comedy, ministers are needed to be all round performers, they need to see the world in a holistic way, taking everything into account. With only one specialist subject, a government run by them would totally disregards most areas of life in the hopes of improving their own indulgence, be that sports, musical and comical investment.
Whilst I agree that ministers need to be good all rounders, I disagree with the fact that qualifications are necessarily a requirement. I firmly believe that people should not be excluded from a position merely because of a lack of qualifications. Many famous and successful people have gained these "qualifications" via real life experience - such as Alan Sugar, one of Britain's most successful businessmen.
Not all celebrities are uneducated. When singing or performing on stage they do use their intelligence:Moves,lyrics and lines need to be practiced memorized over and over; it takes strength, tolerance and patience to keep doing takes to get the performance just right by the director, the idea that they look silly to entertain us; does not entail that they are not capable of making sensible decisions when it is required of them.
Jodi foster studied PreLaw at Harvard. Matt Damon and his friend Ben Affleck both dropped out of Harvard in their last year to pursue acting; there is no suggestion that they were incapable of getting just the few extra credits, they just prioritized acting. They chose to drop out and were not expelled.
Most adult actors are at least college educated and many child actors attend IVY colleges on the basis of their acting careers.
Not discounting the number of celebrities with honorary degrees from various institutions, spanning par excellence across the globe.
Bill gates is also a Harvard drop-out and not an actor, that does not alter his success in his field relative to his more educated counterparts.
Most businessmen in America(read: The people running the country) are barely educated but had the tools/credentials/ ability to make it big where it counts. Ivy league MBAs work under these people. Ever seen the show"The apprentice"?
celebrities have no education in politics!
If a celebrity wanted to become Prime Minister surely they would have to have went to university and studied politics!
it is not fair that people who have worked hard to become an MP ;who then try to go onto becoming Prime Minister and only to be beaten to it by a celebrity who has walked in and decided s/he wants to become the leader of their country!
The Prime Minister also has to make important decisions although there are always a minority who don't agree with these decisions, it is better for someone who has studied politics to make these decisions that will effect peoples life rather than a singer, dancer or a tv presenter!
could you really imagine Cheryl Cole being our Prime Minister- no offense inflicted on Cheryl Cole but she is not a politician she is a singer. but if a celebrity has gone and studied politics and graduated from university i would be very happy for her to be our Prime Minister
Celebrities have also been a normal member of the public so they know what people want from the government,
politicians are celebrities.
Actors have education in every role they play.
no not all prime ministers and presidents have studied 'politics' most are lawyers (Tony Blair[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Blair#Education]] studied jurisprudence at Oxford; Obama) president Clinton studied history at undergrad then maybe law.
Pre-law students usually study international relations or history not politics unless it's 'political history'.
Jodi foster was a pre-law student.
A great many celebs are given honorary degrees from top-notch schools/unis/colleges.
Cheryl Cole definitely has political preferences.[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheryl_Cole#Personal_life]]
John Major(former Prime minister U.K) had left school at 16 with only three O' Level passes.[[http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/gallery/2008/dec/02/drop-out-school-leaving-age?picture=340166919]] How's that for an education in politics?
"Health secretary - and former education secretary - Alan Johnson left Sloane grammar school in Chelsea at 15. He stacked shelves at Tesco before becoming a postman at 18" -
Celebrities and politicians are two different things
Celebrities and politicians are two different things, celebrities act and sing e.t.c, politicians do politics, these are two completley different jobs, not to be confused.
Plenty of celebrities have made the jump into politics by leveraging their name recognition. Politics in many countries today is really about who can be elected, and already being known (unless it is for something that makes you unelectable I guess) is an immense advantage. Hence people like Arnold Schwarzenegger can be elected. Similarly in countries where money matters celebrities tend to have money to kickstart their campaign as well as already knowing the wealthy.
Equally politicians often try (not often successfully) to go the other way and become more active in the media, hosting TV shows - for example Harold Wilson had a go at hosting chat shows - although he was terrible at it.
What do you think?