Should celebrities be allowed to run for public office?

Arnold - Arnold the politician.
@Ciniful (1589)
Canada
January 20, 2007 11:05pm CST
We've seen the effects. A celebrity runs for public office, receives votes based on their celebrity status, then after the election is said and done ... it's discovered this person doesn't have a clue what they're doing in their new position. Arnold was a perfect example of starstruck votes that turned out a politician who couldn't do his job ... or how about Jesse Ventura? So with knowing that a celebrity is likely to get voted in based on their fame and status, regardless of how well they're prepared for their future positions, should celebrities be allowed to run for public office in the first place?
3 people like this
12 responses
@manong05 (5030)
• Philippines
22 Jan 07
I was about to post the same discussion, it's good that I came across yours. That's my question too and I'm using my country as an example. Celebrities have a good chance of winning on the basis of their popularity and name recall. It is also reflective of the voter's maturity ( of lack thereof). There are some exceptions though, one or two movie stars got elected to the senate but they have with them a proven track record of good public service as mayors and governors, but this is rather an exception to the rule. By and large, celebrities are not good public servant materials. I also would like to see an amendment in the constitution made. To date, one of the few requirement is that the person must be able to read and write. I don't mean he needs to have a Ph.D, at least must possess some knowledge in economics, political science and governance.
2 people like this
@raveemenon (1072)
• India
22 Jan 07
I choose to respond to this discussion because there are so many stars and celebrities in our country (mis)ruling many states . Initially I thought it was because of the poor political awareness and illiteracy in a country like India. Then when Mr. Arnold got elected in California i got wonderstuck! Legally or constitutionally banning the celebrities may not be easy. They have all the rights , prieivelages and protection that a commoner enjoy. It is the people who have to reject them . Each one has his own domain. If one feels that the advantage in one area can be made use of in another area I do not know whether it can be termed as 'undue influence'. You have a soft corner towards your favourite stars and if he/she starts exploiting the same for any material gain whether for a public office or for a personal gain it need to be curtailed logically. But there are exceptions to this rule. should one prove as a better administrator why we need to bother whether he is a celebrity or not ?. We need to watch them once we give them a chance.'Man make mistakes but only fools repeat them"
• United States
21 Jan 07
Of course they should be allowed. Where does it say in the Constitution that certain people should be excluded from public service? Many of them are not qualified. Voters should educate themselves and vote for people who can do the job well, not for someone they really liked in "Jingle All the Way" or "Terminator." But I would be extremely concerned if we told anyone they weren't allowed to run because they were a celebrity (or female or black or anything else).
@Ciniful (1589)
• Canada
21 Jan 07
I wouldn't base your opinions on the constitution solely for some of the issues here .... since it doesn't apply to many of the locations people are from. I'm Canadian, for example. The constitution has nothing to do with me. But regardless ... I would normally agree, with restrictions. We can't discriminate and say a person 'can't' run, but we also can't make the general public educate themselves about the people involved and vote without stars in their eyes? So how is an issue like this solved ... how does 100% of the population get protected when the voting majority is voting based on celebrity status? Why should the entirity suffer for the foolish?
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jan 07
I mentioned the Constitution because the examples you gave were of Americans. I don't like it much when they get elected either, unless they are qualified, but that is the chance you take in a democracy. The alternative is worse.
@Ciniful (1589)
• Canada
21 Jan 07
Hmm ... try as I might, I couldn't think of a case in canadian history of a celebrity being voted in. Not that it *won't* happen eventually.
@farrum (92)
• India
22 Jan 07
deciding on basis of one example is not right... people of alll field have right to vote or stand for elections... it is upto people to decide whether theyr capable or not.. if they keep choosing wrong guys just becoz of their celebrityy status then they themselves r not capable to vote...
@Ciniful (1589)
• Canada
22 Jan 07
I didn't give one example, I cited two examples that were well known. There are dozens more.
• United States
27 Jan 07
Yeah i think they should because everybody should be able to run for somthin
@Idlewild (6105)
• United States
27 Jan 07
I agree that these people have a built-in advantage, but I don't think they should be banned from running. Arnold has surprised me; he's actually a knowledgeable, thoughtful governor who has a good grasp of the issues and is trying to do some good things. He started off with a lot of tough talk and bluster, but he got brought down to earth quickly. Jesse Ventura wasn't that successful. A lot of people love Reagan; I'm not one of them. He ballooned the budget deficit with defense spending, gave tax cuts to the richest people, passed terrible anti-environment laws, and largely demonized poor people. A great speechmaker, but he delegated way too much and it sometimes seemed he didn't know what was going on. He did give the country a confidence boost when it needed it, I'll give him that.
• United States
22 Jan 07
Both celebrities that you reference, Swartnegger and Ventura, did / are doing as good of a job as any other politician can do. Reagan was a good president, even though most of his life was as an actor in the movie business. The laws cannot exclude people from politics just on the basis of their past profession, so long as it was legal.
@moneymind (10524)
• Philippines
21 Jan 07
they are allowed actually and that i see nothing wrong with it. the thing is that it is up really to the voting public on who to vote during elections. if those voting public voted for a celebrity and that celebrity actually failed to peroform his/her duty as a politician then there is no one to blame for that but the voting public. greetings. : )
@Bakuhn7 (132)
• United States
21 Jan 07
maybe, i mean its there choice... oh yea YES
@Bakuhn7 (132)
• United States
21 Jan 07
yea
@Bakuhn7 (132)
• United States
21 Jan 07
yes in about 10
• United States
21 Jan 07
I don't think they should be allowed to. Its kinda like a conflict of interest. They already have the fame. And the votes would be based more on their movie ratings then there politic standings. Some people can look past their fame, but I think most people cant. Thats where mistakes are made.