Thursday, July 17, 2014

Capacity focus, 90: Some thoughts on what good government is like (with an eye to soundly building the Caribbean's future)

Some food for thought on good government [with a particular view to the Caribbean region]:
>>Good Government in a modern democratic state is just, sound, wise, effective & efficient, competent, capable, fair, foresighted, transparent, accountable, participative.

It guards and properly balances, rights, freedoms and responsibilities. It upholds the rule of law, based on a constitutional framework that recognises and protects fundamental rights through structures that duly separate and balance legislative, executive and judicial powers; carefully protecting judicial independence and keeping the executive accountable to an elected legislature. It makes sure that crime, corruption, fraud, incompetence, negligence, abuse, pollution and waste are under control. At the same time, it is not overly intrusive, nor does it impose undue levels of taxation, overly complex or entangling regulation and bureaucratic red tape. It promotes economic productivity and enterprise, while husbanding the natural, socio-cultural and economic environment and resources. It holds education, health, reasonable welfare, children and youth as priorities. It has regular elections that are free, fair and free from fear. It respects and works amicably with a free, fair, responsible press.

Good government also proactively and accurately monitors and promptly, sensibly responds to trends, opportunities, threats, shocks and contingencies. Thus, the natural, socio-cultural and economic environment, heritage and resources are well managed towards a sustainable and desirable future. So also, environmental hazards and/or threats are routinely foreseen and adequately prepared for, mitigated, or adapted to if mitigation is not possible. When disasters happen, there is a prompt and effective response, followed by effective stabilisation and recovery, with due lessons observed, noted, discussed, learned and applied.

Day by day, good government is aware of, respects and promptly responds to (or even foresees) the needs and concerns of members of the community (especially the poor, powerless/voiceless, at-risk and marginalised), and it steadfastly makes sacrifices and prepares for a brighter future today.

The public is well-informed and as a whole upholds democratic values, rights and freedoms, while acknowledging and carrying out the associated responsibilities and duties of good citizenship. The public is also orderly, law-abiding, fair-minded, thrifty, family-oriented and economically productive.

The community, as a result, is stable, productive and by and large peaceful and prosperous, whilst valuing and vigilantly and resolutely guarding and defending the civil peace of justice. >>

What do you think? 

Do our region's governments measure up? 

Where should we be thinking of going from here, as a region? END