In reality, there is no such thing as a good leader. Who is good and who is bad, mainly depends upon the context or the period in concern. One leader is good while the other one is bad, not because some leaders are monsters while others merciful. But because states don’t have interests, people do.
Everything in politics from war to foreign aid, to political dynasties to corruption, is all about survival and power, not about welfare or doing good for the society.
Always, remember bad behavior is almost always good politics.
After all, no king can be good, kind, or glorious if his royal subjects are poor.
Here are a few points that may help you make your own inference.
- Political Generosity:
It’s is not about strategy or purpose; it’s about benefits because power always begets Power. Political Generosity is merely a means to get the community or state to make choices and actions that they want.
[examples: West Bengal’s Ruling parties, outrageous generosity to a specific community]
- Good Governance and Policies:
Why? do you think, it’s even a thing? Certainly, not because the leaders care about social justice and welfare, or out of the goodness of their hearts. They are so as to reward the blocks that get and keeps them in power.
[examples: Right to Information Act. by UPA in India, A clean Ganga mission by almost every government since 1985 but virtually no result ever]
Even if certain actions by ruling parties look altruistic, but leaders are not meant to be altruistic. It simply isn’t their bean stock. Instead, they must balance the interests of their keys to power no matter how big or small.
[Examples: Demonetization in India, 100% allowance to Foreign Direct Investment by the ruling party which vehemently opposed the same when they were in opposition]
- Citizen Welfare and Growth:
It’s not because leaders in democracies are better people or even because their needs are aligned with a larger portion of the population. But because the things that make the citizens more productive in a democracy, also make the lives of their leaders better.
Dictatorships have most of their wealth dug out of the ground, like gold or oil or diamonds which can be exploited even while keeping the citizens, outside the production cycle; hence, no need for welfare and concern for citizen growth. As a matter of fact, this will hold true even for democracies, if they were suddenly to stumble upon huge reserves of natural resources as decreed by the Natural Resource Curse principal.
[Example: Communism in West Bengal or Odisha, The league of bad chief ministers in Jharkhand]