The recent election of our ruling party's National Executive Committee (NEC) seems something like Church to me. Many people are doing the numbers now: so many stand behind the new party president, so many do not. Often, a minister will embark on a ministry with something of the same kind of predicament. I have had it twice: a loss of vitality, a jumbled vision, people who ran it into the ground, and so on. But I think it is not the situation that he finds there that will matter as much as where he takes it over time. One is not dealing with numbers, but with people. OBSERVATION: I would guess that the new party president's biggest challenge -- just like the Church -- will come from a small number of saboteurs. And maybe the state. I would worry about the poor demographics of the NEC, though. One needs good demographics not so much to be politically correct but to have the strongest team.