Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Accountability by voter; the myth

When voters lament corruption and incompetence in public service, they are assured that they can hold public servants accountable for their corruption and incompetence at the next election; by voting the scoundrels out!

At best, at the very best, they might occasionally remove a bad apple or two. But the expectation that the overall level of corruption and incompetence will be reduced in the process is naïve. Were there real efficacy in the approach; we would not now be the victims of widespread corruption and incompetence.

Ending corruption and incompetence in public service by attempting to vote out the corrupt and incompetent is a little like fighting a malaria outbreak by treating the headache and fever.

Corruption and incompetence exist because they can. The system tolerates and enables them. Those who created and maintain a system friendly to corruption and incompetence cannot be expected to create a system hostile to them. It is not in their interests.

Voters will never do more than choose between two, or a few, individuals who will then either join the system or be crushed by it. Voters are never offered anything but a choice. The extent of their exercise of power is to select between the choices offered to them. They will never be offered a choice between clean and dirty government. Voters will never vote on the system.

There is an opportunity to change the system; a window of opportunity.

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