There are many things that a good leader should posses. Fair attitude, planning for the future and good discipline are all very important traits for the leader of the boys to have. Ralph possesses all of these traits but the boys want to hunt and have fun more then work and get rescued.
Ralph has many traits in which he could offer to the group. He has excellent leadership skills which was revealed at the beginning of the story when he takes charge and calls a meeting to decide what should be done about the whole situation. Ralph also looks very much like a leader should. "What intelligence had been shown was traceable to Piggy while the most obvious leader was Jack. But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch."
These are some of the reasons why Ralph was chosen over Jack to be the leader. Jack was the leader of the choir and therefore he thought that he should also be leader over the island because of his experience. "Inside the floating cloak he was tall, thin, and bony, and his hair was red beneath the black cap. His face was crumpled and freckled, and ugly without silliness." At first Ralph and Jack got along pretty good. After the vote had taken place and Ralph had won Jack was still not too upset over it because Ralph realised that Jack had to be leader for something and so he put him in charge of his choir which were to be the hunters. It was also established that the hunters would keep the fire going so that if a ship were to pass by, the smoke from the fire would signal for the ship to come and rescue them. The two boys worked extremely well together until Jack took all of the hunters out to get meat and didn't leave anyone to keep the fire going. When Ralph saw a ship on the horizon and looked up at the mountain he didn't see any smoke. When Jack came back from the hunt successful Ralph questions him on why he let the fire go out. At this time Jack leaves to form his own camp at the far end of the island called "Castle Rock." After a few days all of the people from Ralph's camp except Sam and Eric and a few littluns have left to join Jack. Jack's style of government was purely dictatorship. He believes in having fun and by doing this means to go hunting. He also disregards all of the rules that he agreed with at the start and forms his own set of rules that the boys must obey at all costs. " 'Jack! Jack! The rules!' shouted Ralph, 'you're breaking the rules!' 'Who cares?' Ralph summoned his wits. 'Because the rules are the only thing we've got!' " This argument between Ralph and Jack show that Jack no longer cares about any rules. In Jack's camp the rules are whatever Jack says them to be. Jack was the all out leader of this tribe and nobody was to question his decisions or disobey an order given to them. That was Jack's way of governing, but Ralph's way was much more open for discussions and voting. Ralph believes that if a decision was to effect all of the boys then these same boys should vote on what they want done. Then it was Ralph's job to make sure that it gets done. Ralph's democratic way of governing might have been one reason why the boys liked Jack as a leader, because they wanted the decisions made for them instead of the slow process of a meeting and then finally the vote. There is no question that Ralph was much more sensitive and caring to the boys needs of getting rescued. Jack did not care about the fire or getting rescued, he was satisfied with hunting and killing all day long.
One of Ralph's most important traits was his thinking and planning for the future. Right from the start he knew that they needed to have a way to bring the hope and possibility of being rescued one day. "The fire is the most important thing on the island. How can we ever be rescued except by luck, if we don't keep the fire going?" Ralph was also the one who said that they needed shelters and fresh water supply. By doing these simple things the island would have been an excellent place to stay until they got rescued, but since Jack only looks at each day at a time he had no long term goals. The ideas that Ralph came up with, were to the reader, just common sense for the survival of the boys on the uninhabited island. To Jack though these ideas were not valuable because they came from Ralph and every second that wasn't spent hunting or killing was a waste, these things were never done. This is also a result of the lack of discipline in Jack's camp.
As a leader Ralph had discipline among the boys. " 'I'll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he's speaking.' " He keeps the boys under order through these meetings where a sense of law is instilled because the boys have to wait their turn before they can speak. By making such rules as these and by giving the boys the stability of an authority figure, mainly himself, he enforces his role as leader. He wins the boys respect and confidence in his leadership abilities. Jack on the other hand has a totally different way of discipline with his boys who have become uncivilised savages. Jack uses fear to make the boys scared of him so that they do as he wants and when he wants. He has no way of keeping order but unlike Ralph, Jack doesn't seem to want any order. He likes his boys to always be on the edge, ready to kill and for his kingdom to forever be in chaos.
As you can see Jack and Ralph differ in many ways on how they govern their societies. On one side you have the democracy, good future planning and well disciplined leader, Ralph, and on the other there is the dictatorship, day to day planning and cruel disciplined leader, Jack. Even though all of these characteristics of each boy were evident the boys still chose Jack as the leader in the end.
Jack. Even though all of these characteristics of each boy were evident the boys still chose Jack.