Retiring From Politics

All of last week I’ve been thinking about it. Do people actually ever “retire” from politics? Sure. Qadaffi’s son just announced he’s doing it. But can you really trust someone who says their retiring from politics once they’ve tasted the sweet nectar of power? I can’t help but wonder if this is Qadaffi Junior’s way of setting up a comeback, which allows him to say “I wanted to retire, but the people of Libya demanded my return”. And if it is true. Well. Qadaffi has 6 other sons. Well. Five really. The youngest one assaulted people in Switzerland so that’s not going to bode well for his foreign policy portfolio.

Anyways. All that aside. The question of whether people really do retire from politics is interesting. Sure. It’s not common in the Arab world, where leaders and politicians across the spectrum, seem to take a ’till death do we part’ vow. But. To be fair. This does seem to be somewhat evident across the board, in every nation. Most politicians never seem to go away.

Politics is simply too strong a temptress. And saying you’re retiring from politics after having danced avidly in the political arena, is the easiest lie a politician will ever have to tell.


  • I think, the problem in the Arab world is not that they do not retire, it is that they are always in power. I mean that being in politics (in the rest of the world) doesn’t mean being in power all the time. and then politics becomes like every other thing, football players keep playing football, scientists also can not really retire. human in general can not retire what he likes easily.

  • I agree with MD above. I also think the difference is politicians in the West, after ‘retiring’, are referred to more as experts than politicians– i.e. their opinions are sought on contentious issues. While in office, they are grilled and bbqed :p but after office they receive the privilege of being heard and respected.
    Whereas in the Arab world, that transition is never completed. Ironically, the Arab media treat Arab leaders as experts while still in office, rather than experts by experience after leaving office… which means that criticism of them and their positions while in office is minimal (to say the least).

  • Qaddafi also has a daughter, but speaking of the Qaddafis and retirement, one ofthem “Saadi” was forced to retire from the Italin League after failing a drug test. He didn’t even play a single game with the team!

    In Jordan Laith Shebeilat’s retirement was the most significant for me

  • well ,
    Retiring is a choice ya Hareega.

    This is how I think about it , Qaddafi’s son is increasing his recognition rate in his country , even though he is the automatic successor of his father he is still preparing the people for his arrival , this kind of politicians usually are different than those that are in other rankings , where their life scale goes from a private school to a EU university to finish their B.A , masters and PHD degree , then a politician then probably a minister or else where in the government , then a private entity to finish his life and die rich.
    But people like Q.S. will always be rich unless they refuse to bring their father a glass of water. He actually never reached the level of a politician in the sense of getting heard by choice rather than with a forced proud smile, he was trying to state rebilious statements which were ignored for lack of era coping.
    We have powers watching us in every move , so in order to make a rebilious leader , he/she should be aware of the people’s needs and should be very keen with the authorities , such acts were never understood by the mass , and usually when it came out (as secrets of history) they were called betrayers , but when we live in such a complicated world where right and wrong are merged together for a better outcome , then we need to play along. so he might be doing a scene with his father to get to the proper ending.
    Q.S. succeeded we are talking about him now.

  • “…criticism of them and their positions while in office is minimal”. I wish it were true, Deena. From what I’m seeing lately, it’s quite the opposite. Our politicians – in fact, most who are in leadership and managerial positions – are subjected to all sorts of criticism, most of which is – sadly – unrelated to their tasks or performance. In these last months I have come across – no, let me rephrase: In these last months I have balked at comments and commentaries loaded with libel and innuendo, and most of it personal. Of course I’ve seen comments focusing on the professional, in terms of criticizing the performance or approach of a public official to an issue or case. This is something healthy and necessary. It helps draw attention to areas or sectors, or even citizens, in need of services. It helps draw attention to issues in need of debate. But then some spoil it by recklessly accusing the ‘politician’ of negligence. And while I believe this does not hinder the work at all, in a way it is demoralizing for all. There is much work to be done and I wish some of us in the media could fully understand the meaning of partnership, because this is what it is. We are partners. The good news is I am seeing signs and they are growing. I’ll stop here before you wish you could make me see stars.

  • I think in the Arab world we accept the marriage of our leaders to power to some extent. It is ok for a president to stay in power for life, we don’t complain much about that, and we only complain a little when power goes from father to son.
    People coming to power who wanted to change this gave up on changing the system. I guess if you can’t beat them, join them!

  • i am just always amazed how presidents “ELECTED” by the people can actually have a dynasty and rule a country for decades.

    If it was a monarchy id accept it 😛

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