Saturday, August 8, 2009

ZenTiger Echo: You are not special

Contra Celsum offers some very good advice to our servants:
It is a good thing that public scrutiny is now taking place over Parliamentarians' expenditure. This will make most of you far more careful about what you claim and upon what you spend other peoples' money. However, for some, maybe many of you this will take a good deal of "fun" out of being a Member of Parliament.

We remind you, however, that you are nothing more, nor less than a servant. Yes, you do carry a certain respect because of the office you hold of being a representative of the people. But that respect resides not in you but in the office itself. It stems from our respect for the rule of law and for the highest court of the land.

...

We remind you that the rest of the commercial world operates in this way. You have no grounds to think of yourselves as being exceptional or a special case. You are servants of the people, employees. Nothing more, nothing less.


Read the whole letter here: You are Not Special

3 comment(s):

Sean said...

What I don't understand is that despite this expenditure saga, and the general mistrust of politicians, that there is not a popular mandate from the electorate for smaller government.

I mean, we vote Labour in 50% of the time, yet they spend so much wastefully. Are we that gullible?

I guess ACT are best here, but they are tainted with many ideological based policies. Rodney, to his credit is going to downsize Auckland local govt, and reduce the scope of local govt in general. By National must apply this to central government, in line with their values surely (a government should only govern, not own and run non-core activities), and they have the opportunity to do this now with the global crisis and their popularity.

They should be cutting back right now, while they are high in the polls and still a new government. So by the time they are voted out (hopefully no earlier than 2017), the smaller more efficient and effective government is entrenched in our society.

ZenTiger said...

I agree. I also think more than cutting back, now's the time to press ahead with some form of charter which defines and restricts just what government, and local government, can do.

Then reflect this across each and every department.

Just like the examination of expenses, we could be examining the long list of government departments, and other organisations funded by government.

Perhaps also some spending caps and limitations based on GDP.

Over time, we wouldn't just be trimming waste, we would be trimming according to what is agreed to be essential government services.

This needn't be "too much, too soon", it could be a series of reviews and re-reviews over 5-10 years.

With concrete results published every year along the journey.

MK said...

Indeed, now if only we could get the rest of the populace to view them in the same fashion.

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