Every profession has a retirement age, but there are a few exceptions and one of the them is surely politics. There is a reason for having retirement age in every profession – after a certain age one’s efficiency is considered to reduce and it is time for him or her to retire from work and enjoy the remaining life in peace. It is also essential as young people need employment and one of the ways to provide for this is by filling in the vacancies due to retirement. But when it comes to the rule makers, no retirement age seems to apply. The suggestion by Michael Kaingu that politicians must retire from active politics post his age of 66 years raises debate. Should there be a retirement age in politics as well like any other profession?
Yes, we need young people to take up senior positions in the political arena, which is more possible when elders leave active participation in politics.
And there are people who feel that politicians are also human beings, and after a certain age they are also prone to age related issues and thus for the same reason as there is a retirement age in other undertakings there should be one for politicians. Whilst senior politicians would have valuable knowledge and experience, generally they have a more conventional approach which acts as a barrier to new thoughts and ideas.
Ideally, the retirement age should not be set very high but should be more in line with retirement age set for other undertakings, and where a politician is considered as a valuable mentor he or she could be involved as a consultant but not put directly in power.
They feel we have seen enough family dynasty in our politics and do not need any individual to hold power until the next kin is ready to take up the position.
Having a set retirement age for politicians would also ensure that a person knows that his reign of power would end at a definite point of time and he may have to answer for any misappropriation sooner rather than later.
We also have people who feel that politicians are representatives of the public, and assume public office. In reality they are public servants in service as long as the public considers them as suitable. If the public does not think they are suitable to perform required duties due to their age, then they would not elect them as their representatives in elections. Over the years, politician acquire great knowledge and experience, which can’t be easily replaced.
Politicians also play an important role in maintaining diplomatic relationships which may be impacted by their retirement, and their successor may not be as successful.
Younger people in the party who lack legislative and administrative experience would need hand holding and direction, this would be difficult without the knowledge and experience of veteran politicians. Loosing senior politicians may also impact on public acceptability of the political party, as there is an element of individual trust and goodwill involved.
Senior politicians have a wealth of knowledge and experience, which is essential for the role but in order to ensure that one does not remain in seat of power indefinitely and young people are able to take key positions in political arena, thus contribution of fresh ideas and new perspective, it is essential that politicians also retire at a predetermined age.
But it seems that we never will have a retirement age for politicians. Government is itself a large institution which needs a new warrior every now and then to keep up with the growing opposition forces. But we see the most successful politicians not retiring and still occupying offices beyond 70 years while the government service itself has an age limit of 55 years.
So what keeps them away from this retirement policy.
We usually have a confined schema only for things which are organized. We start our education at a confined age, we do college education when we grow older and we find a job when we grow still older. So, things do happen in an agenda with respect to a literate’s life. Look at a politician’s life! It seems to a life without any plans and progress on what they do. So they don’t have any confined age of retirement. Their retirement is decided by people.There is no age of retirement in politics. We never will have retirement age for politicians.
Retirement is the withdrawal from one’s position or occupation or from one’s active working life. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours.
An increasing number of individuals are choosing to put off this point of total retirement, by selecting to exist in the emerging state of pre-tirement.
Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when bodily conditions no longer allow the person to work any longer by illness or accident or as a result of legislation concerning their position. In most countries, the idea of retirement is of recent origin, being introduced during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Previously, low life expectancy and the absence of pension arrangements meant that most workers continued to work until death. Germany was the first country to introduce retirement benefits in 1889 under Otto Von Bismark.
Nowadays, most developed countries have systems to provide pensions on retirement in old age, which may be sponsored by employers or the state. In many poorer countries, support for the old is still mainly provided through the family. Today, retirement with a pension is considered a right of the worker in many societies, and hard ideological, social, cultural and political battles have been fought over whether this is a right. In many western countries this right is mentioned in national constitutions.
It is said that politicians are like vintage wine. The more their age the wiser they are. Old or young does not matter.
People should analyse the motive for the particular person’s entry into politics. Is it for fame, or is it for self -actualization. They should sincerely answer this question. If the answer is the second one without any worry one can allow this person to stay in politics ignoring age. A wiser man would always give way to others at the appropriate time.