We are all subject to
government in one form or another. There are no places on Earth that are
free to live and which are uncontrolled by a government. Not even
Antarctica. This means we are more or less stuck with whatever government we have.
For some of us, who live in the more democratic societies, this can be a
good thing. For others, government can be their first problem in trying
to live a normal life.
The government layers most of us have to
deal with are local, like city, county or state, national or federal and trans-national, like the European Union. Government is not a bad thing in itself. We
need people that are educated to regulate society, take care of our
safety, keep the economy in balance, protect our environment and so
But we all know that many governments are not
doing their job right. They seem to be more involved with themselves
than the citizens they are supposed to be serving. More common these
days is that governments sell out to large national and multinational
companies, thinking that these companies can help improve the economy,
which is only partly true.
So what then is perfect government?
Leaders and rulers
From the earliest headman or headwoman human societies have had one
or several rulers. Being boss is a natural phenomenon on planet
Earth whether you are a human animal or any other kind. Those of us
that live in groups or masses all have a ruler or ruling class or
caste. That's just how it is.
But what makes a good ruler or leader? In general terms it takes
a combination of skill, experience, attitude and personality.
These are not traits that are necessarily hereditary so why are so
many rulers simply there on the basis of their genetic disposition,
such as kings or dictatorships.
A democratic system was devised
many years ago to overcome this hereditary deficiency. People were
tired of having a bad ruler undo what his or her predecessor
achieved simply because it was the ruling bloodline and they
inherited all power.
A good leader, male or female, can be born in any class or
position. Unless we actively start to breed for a line of good
rulers this choice should not be made on the basis of inheritance
but on the presence of the traits described above.
democracy is a farce as our choice of leaders is limited to a small
number of people with either the financial means or the connections
to stand for election.
This system can never produce the best leader. If it wasn't for
the checks and balances most democracies have in them we would
continuously end up with one dictator or tyrant after another.
Still, the system we have now is far from perfect as the
politicians and bureaucrats are basically all of the same mind and
intention - personal advancement and wealth gathering.
There are better ways.
Government needs to be flexible, adapting to changing
conditions, as well as stable in its foundations.
This means that its leaders need to be the same; able to adapt to
the ever changing conditions of the national economy and culture,
while keeping a positive overall trend.
Assisted by a number of equally selected advisors
and second-level decision-makers we can construct a government that
is both reliable and trustworthy.
It is easy to blame the leader for any or all ills
but often it is the second level that needs to be held accountable
as they do not necessarily change with the election of a new leader.
Perhaps government should consist of people that are
there only temporary, at all levels but the most basic. Like
military service we all get to be bureaucrat for a number of years
after which we must relinquish our position to the next person that
was selected for the job.
In this manner no one will be able to consolidate
their position over any real length of time and thus build personal
networks that would have negative influences. They can also be held
fully accountable for his or her actions during their term of
service and afterwards as the next person will be obligated to learn
and understand what has gone before.
By popular definition, government is usually ten years behind the
rest of society in its development and understanding. Bureaucracy is
generally not the fastest turning wheel in the mechanism and can be
a real burden or hindrance to personal and professional development.
That's not to say government is either unnecessary
or superfluous. Hasty decision-making is not desirable either. But
if the system is made to be adaptable rather than stagnant this gap
can be closed significantly and government would be far more
A regular change of guard
keeps the attention alert and ready.
First and foremost, government is civil service. It's an ideology, to
devote your mind and energy to improving living and working conditions
for your fellow countrymen. As a government official you are not
important in who you are but in what you do.
The ruler or leader of a government is not the whole of the
government. It's a temporary position at most, regardless for how long.
This goes for most of the top layer of government.
The mainstay of government are the workers, the bureaucrats, that
hold position regardless of who is ruler. These middle level bureaucrats
can stay in their position for an entire working life, anywhere up to
forty years or more.
While we all know or suspect government corruption at the top levels,
the corruption at the middle and lower levels is often overlooked or
underestimated. Unfortunately, this lower level corruption can be most
destructive of all, even if its monetary value is less.
This middle level is a constant drain on resources and often the
reason why taxes are continuously increased. It is common practice in
many places that yearly budgets are automatically increased by at least
10% regardless of any planned future or past expenditures.
Why? Because it is also common knowledge that if you budget less for
next year you may not get any increase the year after that when you may
indeed need it.
The result of this typical bureaucratic behaviour is that far too
much tax money gets spent on unnecessary, even frivolous items,
positions and procedures. Because, unless you spend all of your budget -
and declare a deficit - it would again become clear that you are getting
Businesses that deal with governments know this very well and equally
increase their prices every year for any government department that has
a contract with them.
This results in huge price differences in what a government
department would pay as opposed to a regular business or a consumer.
Understandably, government projects are highly sought after.
Some governments install watchdogs that make sure they do not pay
more than market value for any goods or services acquired, but this is
In wealthier governments an attitude of "unlimited" money and special
interest (let's hire uncle John and split the profits) cost the tax
payer amazing amounts of money.
What we need here is serious attitude adjustment.
The right stuff
Should there be tests to determine who is civic minded? There
certainly should be some kind of aptitude test to determine who makes a
good leader or not.
In a true democratic society we should try and find
the best person for the job of leader, not whoever can put out the most
cash and who has the most influential friends. In fact, these are two
factors which should be considered as a negative when accepting
candidacy for the top job.
Many professions have strict regulations, preceded by years of study
and exams before they can call themselves professional and are allowed
to practice. Why then are we
lacking this trajectory for one of the most important positions in society?
Shouldn't our candidate leaders be subjected to rigorous testing to
ensure their qualifications and qualities are suited to the job? Yes,
they should be.
Then why isn't it done?
Why is democratic principle of "allowing anyone to stand for office"
made a mockery of when reality shows that "anyone" is certainly not able
to do so.
In fact very few are, or are even allowed in some places. When you
have a choice of one, as in Iraq under Saddam Hussein or in Belarus, you
cannot speak of democracy.
When you have to bribe or coerce people to vote for you democracy is
equally non-existent. When you send out hoodlums to terrorise people at
the voting booth this is also not democracy nor is miscounting of the
ballots or replacing them.
Most people are not fooled by these fake democracies, "it's so unlike
our own". But many are fooled by our own democratic system where the
choice is at best to have to choose from the best competent out of a
group of incompetents.
They're not listening
time is the only time we actually get to hear what we want - less taxes,
less unemployment, cleaner environment, fight corruption, better health
Unfortunately, once election is over our opinions are
completely ignored until the next election comes around, and any
decision-making is completely out of our hands.
Those we elected are
supposed to follow up on their election promises because this is why we
voted for them. So why aren't they doing so?
Simple, because they
never intended to. Except for promising what you want to hear they are
not interested and return to business as usual with the only difference
is that we have maybe different faces to look at.
Shouldn't there be
a system of control whereby failed election promises result in jail?
What is sure is that our elected leaders certainly need some
kind of incentive to stick to their promises.
And why are leaders not
required to retire? Are people in their 80's really aware of enough what
goes on to be good leaders? No, they're not.
The elderly make good
advisors but are certainly not capable of proper decision-making. With a
global population of which half is under 25 we need younger leaders,
able to understand and react to a fast-changing political environment.
The elderly are not encouraged to drive a car beyond 80, why on earth
do they think they can still rule a country?
We need an age limit on
candidates, perhaps 60? At 60 you are still young enough to be active
and at the end of your term, which will be between 4 and 7 years later,
you have the right age for either retirement or an advisory role.