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Post-Election Governance Report

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on November 27, 2020 17:31

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The recent elections seem to have resulted in widespread disillusionment, disappointment and a feeling that things are not working. For us who used to see the USA as a city on the hill, an example of democracy and freedom of expression, the disappointment is also acute. But there is a question at the end.

When investigating corporate governance one of the most satisfying exercises is to question middle and junior management and even line workers on the ways their organization can do better. Usually top management is by now so locked into entrenched positions and established enmities that they are paralyzed. The art is to sift the answers, eliminate pet hates and find the nuggets of truth to present to the decision makers. Reg Revans used the answers from porters, nurses' aides, nurses to decrease patient bed days, winning him a fellowship of Guy's hospital in London. 

It sees clear from press reports, also by people like Robin Mizrahi, a writer at the LATEST, that Americans are disappointed by the lack of quick, clear results. A disjuncture between voter numbers and affiliation of representatives at state and federal level and criticism of the arcane electoral system at the expense of 'rank democracy' seems to be well-thought through and should receive serious consideration by decision makers. The role of the media is suspect, which reformers of the electoral system should seriously consider. Foreign interference in the electoral and governmental progesses should, in my opinion, be the subject of a serious, non-political debate. Have you been played, America? A country that placed a man on the moon half a century ago could surely design a more effective electoral system and better voting machines?

In 2001 Madagascar chose a President. Didier Ratsiraka, military man, financed by the Central Bank and supported by the 'sly left hand or French influence', won enough votes to force a second round. Opponent Marc Ravalomanana, self-made man who rose from selling yoghurt in the streets, had spent his personal fortune on the first round. Popular opinion was that Ravolamanana had won. Peaceful demonstrations of up to 100,000 people forced France to call a meeting in Senegal. Ratsiraka asked for a recount, left the meeting and called his Minister to make sure the ballots had already been destroyed, then agreed. The call had been intercepted, and the not yet destroyed ballots safeguarded. The recount found a number of electoral districts heavily in Ratsiraka's favor had been created on paper. Popular pressure had forced a democratic decision. 

If you are disappointed at your elections, think about ours. Constitutions are changed to cement Presidents in their seats. Museveni had been "democratically elected" since 1986, Mugabe was deposed by his own military at the age of 93 after 37 years in power. Closer to home the Secretary-General of the ruling party, having seen a rule adopted by his party that party members who are under criminal investigation should stand aside, promptly ignored it when he himself was hit by a charge of fraud. Senior members were similarly charged. The party is now self-destructing in infighting while the coronavirus and economic disaster looms. So, you have problems?

The last question in the above survey of management governance reads: You have now identified the problems. What are YOU going to do about it?

 

 

 

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on November 27, 2020 17:31

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Source: WashPost

Iraqis are demanding good governance, fair elections and less Iranian influence. What's not to like?

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