This is the story of a politician born in 1962, who studies economics, served as a Finance Minister of his state, pushed for job generation as a lever for economic growth rather than incremental debt, developed differences with the ruling party over state debt and its management and finally resigned from his FM post in protest. Not only that, he went on to launch a public awareness campaign against misconceived policies of his government and soon turned that movement into a new political party. People saw his point of view and followed him in place of conventional politicians.
If I ask you to guess the name of this politician I am sure Manpreet Singh Badal will be the answer. But actually I am talking about Rafael Correa of Ecuador! What I did not tell you is that right after forming his political party, he went on to win Presidential election in 2006. His first political move after resuming office was to show door to IMF and World Bank Officers residing in Ecuador. Very soon followed his financial reforms of Ecuador resulting in many fold increase in investment in healthcare and education. He also managed to write-off international debts of $7 Billion (31,500 Cror Rupees) in a couple of years!
This is what he told the world in no uncertain terms, “Ecuador has much more important obligations than international obligations. We will get back to you only after addressing to our domestic goals. Ecuador is no more for sale!”.
Now I am not a big fan of comparisons between people and events. But this one made me think. I am an instant fan of Rafael Correa because he has been able to demonstrate it so clearly that political willpower is the central requirement for social reforms. If you have your strategy right then you simply have to back it up with full conviction; no matter what the economy doctors say. He single handedly stood up the might and cunningness of IMF, World Bank. He has given me and many more an excellent case study in Macro Economics.
You can read more about him at:
An absolute must for Macro Economics lovers is this documentary (mostly in subtitles, but worth it):
I hope Manpreet Singh Badal will repeat what Rafael Correa has done. Nothing is impossible! Current global challenges are immense, but so are the credentials of these new age politicians. Let’s celebrate new wizards of politics; educated, passionate and strong willed young people like MSB and Correa!