Q. Australia recently had a change of prime minister*. The issue seems to have been electability, not necessarily quality. What do you think?
A. I can only answer in terms of Jewish tradition, which says (Talmud Ber. 25a) that a ruler requires the support of God and not just the community. Rav Kook says that a leader requires holiness (i.e. vision and idealism), wisdom (the capacity to lead the community judiciously) and a commanding appearance and tongue.
We tend to reverse the order and go for how the person looks on TV and how he/she spins words. Rav Kook’s order of priorities, however, is expressive of the Jewish tradition. It thinks of the innate qualities of the person, not merely whether they are likely to win the next election.
* June 2013.