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Does politics need more celebrities?

Pandita Louram | 10:18 UK time, Friday, 30 July 2010



Wyclef Jean is considering running for presidency of Haiti.

It's not the first time a celebrity has turned to politics. Arnold Schwarzenegger - best remembered in Hollywood for his roles as the Terminator - was elected as Republican governor of California in 2003 and actors Ronald Regan and Clint Eastwood and cricketer Imran Khan have all moved from the popular arena to the political one.

But reality bites and, unlike in the movies, happy endings aren't so easy to come by. Schwarzenegger may see California as 'the most progressive state in the nation' but yesterday he was was forced to declare a 'fiscal emergency'.

Support for Wyclef is strong. Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton for one applauds his achievements in the region so far:

It would be pretty incredible if he could pull this off and no one can argue that he doesn't have the country's best interests at heart. Wyclef Jean has been at the forefront of the relief effort for Haiti since the country was shattered by the massive earthquakes this year.

But not everyone thinks celebrity and politics is a match made in heaven. For Ann Perkins in the Guardian it's a mistake to mix the two:

They seem to have forgotten that while celebrities only have celebrity, politicians are not about being famous. Their purpose is to explain to the rest of us how and why we should live alongside one another. We need authenticity in politicians only in so far as we want them to be true to themselves.

So do celebrities make good politicians? Or does fame and fortune only distract from the serious job of political leadership? Join the discussion here, on our Facebook page or follow #wyclef

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