They become aggressive and overbearing - imposing their personal interests onto others.
This is precisely what is happening to BN.
Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has issued a 'gentle reminder' to teachers in Sarawak to support BN in the state election.
"I urge all to help BN to win big in Sarawak. Just mark 'X' next to BN (on the ballot paper),” he said today.
"After this (the opposition) will say that we are campaigning through teachers, but this is just a gentle reminder, but an important reminder."
Muhyiddin, also the deputy premier and deputy BN head, was addressing about 400 teachers at a 'self-improvement' meet for educators in Sibu this afternoon.
I feel embarrassed for the DPM. He is almost down to grovelling for votes even though he manages to condescendingly asking civil servants to do his bidding.
It remains to be seen if it will work.
Word on the ground is that Pakatan Rakyat is being very well received by the Sarawakians, who have finally decided they want some change in their state.