accountable governance

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    Dennis F

    Accountable governance

    As people are slowly realizing politicians in general are not working for the people but for other goals we need to think of better ways to be governed. If the people want to have a truly accountable government we need to come up with alternatives for current political systems.

    Current situation
    Are we really represented by the people we think we have chosen? If you come to think of it there may be several flaws in the present situation. I will describe the situation here in Holland:
    • we have over 20 different political parties, all with their own agendas (to attract voters)
    • in order to form a government that has a majority in parliament and thus enough power to accept laws the political parties (usually the biggest ones) need to negotiate to form a coalition
    • in order to be able to form a governance agreement these negotiating parties have to concede much of their agenda items even though people may have chosen them particularly for their opinion on these subjects
    • during coalition formation it has become habit to maintain ‘radio silence’ in order not to frustate negotiations. This radio silence may take weeks all while the public is kept uninformed about what is being negotiated
    • after a coalition is formed a governance agreement is presented that can be debated in parliament but since there is a majority of the parties forming the coalition few amendments are being made. The public has no more say.
    • during the maximum four years lifetime of a coalition new subjects may arise that are being dealt with without consulting public opinion. A referendum that could perform such a consultation is no longer possible or allowed. The outcome of the last referendum held was completely ignored by the coalition.
    • many other subjects that do not appear in the governance agreement are handled without the general public being (made actively) aware of what is going on
    • the popular reaction of politicians to complaints is that they have been given a mandate (for four years) until the next elections simply by you having cast a vote (even if it is not on the person or political party you voted for)
    • ministers/secretairies can head different departments without having factual knowledge of what a specific department is all about. How can a minister for the housing department become a minster of foreign affairs?
    These are just my observations. Is this really a true 1 to 1 representation of our opinion as Dutch citizens? Do we really think this is how our country should be governed?

    This is how the system works seen from an external point of view. What goes on on the inside of politics is kept outside of our perspective:
    • we don’t know if the voting is being rigged
    • small political parties may find they are being prevented from reaching public outlets and joining public debates
    • we have no idea of how lobbyists influence the political agendas. We only can see that politicians (during and) after their political career become members of advisory boards of multinationals or obtain important leading positions in these companies. There is no verifiable account of promised positions or bribes
    • we do not really know where our taxpayers money goes
    • many well known politicians attend Bilderberg and other secret meetings
    • many well known politicians have been implicated more than once as attendees for child
    torture, rape and killing parties together with other important officials (see ITCCS)

    It is not easy to come up with a solution to solve the issue of politics having constructed a foggy system that allows them to do whatever they like provided they do not awaken the public to their hidden agendas. Then again, we have allowed this system to function and evolve into what it is now. Have we been either too sleepy or too lazy to see how much we have gone in the wrong direction? We long time believed this was the way forward, didn’t we?
    If we want change we need to set new conditions for our governments to work as we would like them to work. We need:
    • clarity
    • true accountability
    • true representation
    • independent verification
    • independence of personal profit(s)
    • secrecy only in very dangerous threadning situations
    • extensive proper true and valuable information on any emerging subject

    My suggestion is to abolish political parties all together. The system of 150 representatives and and 75 senators in two separate houses could work but I would propose each person who wants to be a politician to give his or her opinion on all relevant subjects long before voting takes place. These opinions would be publicly available in a database for every voter to consult. This way not the person but his opinion would be elected. Coalitions could be formed on certain subjects. Ministers could be chosen because of their opinions, their proven management abilities and their specific knowledge on certain areas.
    Opinions may change over time. If a politician revises his or her opinion during governance (s)he needs to publicly explain why the change has taken place ( accompanied with proper information) and either consult if the public agrees with the change of opinion or (s)he should simply resign.
    Politicians should have a maximum to their salary without any bonusses or the likes during and for at least 15-20 years after their active political career. They should have their finances publicly being accounted for this period of time.
    Lobbying should be forbidden lawfully as a crime against humanity.
    Consulting of public opinion should be at least a monthly procedure.
    True verifiable information on all subjects of any matter should be accessible to everyone. This
    information system should be accounted and vetted by totally independent persons who have no ties to any politician and cannot generate personal profit from this information.
    All processes, decisions and procedures should be open, verifiable and easily accessible to all voters.
    Truly independent organisations should vet all information used and produced. (Jounalists anyone?)
    This is of course just a porposal. But we need to think how we can do better. Not all politicians are bad people. Some have been trapped. Some of them seriously have good intentions. The system however is very inappropriate in a world of freedom and happiness for all. Let’s all think of how to do better!

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