This post is part of How can Puerto Rico Develop an Autonomous Nation
As mentioned in that blog I will elaborate on the subject of government changes needed in that plan. These changes are vital in order to develop an autonomous and strong nation. The changes I suggested were the following:
- Eliminate the private sector contribution to political campaigns
- Eliminate political parties
- Extend the ammount of time the government officials work if they are efficient
- Develop a metric system for candidates that is not subjective
The reason for each of my suggestions I will underline here:
1. Eliminate the private sector contribution to political campaigns
- Problem: Private sector campaign funding is the source of corruption of the government
- Why? Government officials need funding for their campaigns to be elected, since they receive money from the private sector for this they are in debt with the companies that financially support their parties and campaigns therefore making them prone to become corrupt and extortion and other schemes for government contracting. It is a big double standard to sign a code of ethic saying they cant be bribe when they already received the funds. This is a big problem in our island as contracts are awarded to preselected vendors and at a higher cost to the citizens.
- Solution: All candidates receive a set amount of budget direct from the government and they are prohibited to receive any donations from the private sector. In todays world Social Media, Local Media and The Internet are the correct way to transmit the candidates plans and message. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS SHALL ANSWER TO ITS PEOPLE NOT TO A CORPORATION THAT FUNDS THEIR CAMPAIGN.
2. Eliminate political parties
- Problem: Political Parties are the second factor that drive corruption and lack of good candidates in the government as officials.
- Why?: Political parties promote indoctrination instead of individual analysis of candidates. For people its easier to select a party instead of reviewing each candidates plan, ideas and background. Political parties fast track candidates into seats but at the same time restricts the candidates actions to the beliefs or plan of that group.
- Answer: We should select candidates that go through a process of selection by the government and the people and they should be viewed individually for their background, expertise, ideas and plan; not for what political party they’re part of as this brings no value to the people. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS SHALL ANSWER TO ITS PEOPLE NOT TO A POLICITAL PARTY.
3. Extend the amount of time the government officials work if they are efficient
- Problem: Government Officials aren’t given enough time to strategize, develop plans and implement them to its full capacity.
- Why?: No politician elected specially the governors have any true background in their positions. Nothing in the private sector or school can really prepare them for the big undertaking they get when they are assigned. We the people pay for their training as any other job when we elect them. Typically it takes them 1-2 years to be trained and afterwards develop plans and a road map of how to get there. Typically in year 3 they get the funding and start working on solving issues for us. Problem is year 4 their funding start to get cut as elections are near and they cant compromise long term goals. So they’re initiatives are cut if they are not reelected. Plans change every 4 years in a massive way here in Puerto Rico, this is the major reason we don’t progress in anything. Each politician wants to stand out and make HIS plan. Not follow the plan the other executive brought. Why do we get a sense in the island that nothing ever gets done???? BECAUSE WE BOOT OUR EXECUTIVES EVERY 4 YEARS WITHOUT GIVING THEM CHANCE TO FINISH WHAT THEY STARTED. When we see nations such as Cuba for example. Its leader has learned for being a governor for various periods therefore as a leader he has experience in his current position. Our executive should stay in chair at least 6-8 years so that complex plans and important rollouts can take place those are the things that bring change. The concept is simple: We don’t hire people in our corporations, train them and when their ready to work fire them right?!?!? Because we loose our money and its not practical, then why do we do it in government?. Anti-Corruption can be attacked with other measures I discuss here. Our island is too small, the disruption we get when political executive changes are of HUGE impact to us. In nations such as the United States they make changes at intervals that are not as big as we reelect. They change Senate at a certain intervals and not everyone gets booted so there is a knowledge transfer and a continuity of projects. We must change our bad practices.
- Solution: Review the elections periods for key positions to longer extended period of time. Use a mechanism that can assess if people are happy every x amount of time. If the are not we can for example in the 4th year have a special election and boot the candidate.
4. Develop a metric system for candidates that is not subjective
- Problem: Candidates are not being reviewed for their potential, background and capacity in an objective way
- Why?: Media is focused on how they look physically, what political party they’re part of and how interesting is the feud they have with other candidates and how “strong” they seem.
- Solution: A Standard website should developed with a standard set of metrics published to the people:
- What are their Backgrounds of work and study?
- Why are they qualified for the position they are being placed as candidate
- What is their work plan?
- What are the ideas and solutions they believe will help their nation
Government agencies are corporations as any other. They use our money to provide services to our people, we must be as efficient as we are in the private sector as we are with our government in the sense that we must:
- Select the right talent
- Prevent corruption
- Help them to grow professionally and foster that they succeed
- Promote Quality of Service and Work Environment
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