Atlantic International Partnership Headlines: FINANCIAL MATTERS: The choices before our new democracy
|Pressemitteilung von: Atlantic International Partnership Headlines|
|(openPR) - By: Ifeanyi Uddin
I readily confess to a fascination with the “theory of unintended consequences”. But, a small clarification before anything further is written. My interest is not in the certainty that everything that may go wrong about a policy choice/decision is bound to. Confronted by almost six decades of inept and often cynical management of this economy, it is to be expected that we have come to associate “unintended consequences” with “negative outcomes”.
In truth, put this way, my central narrative is but a variant of Murphy’s Law. Instead, my enthralment is with the benefits, losses, or wrong signals arising from a particular action, but which were not conceived of in or intended as part of the original action plan.
Newspaper headlines on workers’ day, May 1, were all of one flavour. In their addresses to the different labour rallies, state governors all pledged to implement the new minimum wage. Not too long ago, the same persons had argued that their state government budgets could not bear the extra financial burden from paying the new minimum wage. What had changed since then? I could think of only one proximate explanation: the events of late April, this year.
On balance, the last polls in the country appear to have moved the social engagement envelope several notches up. The “voice” of the people was heard loud and clear, amidst the din of many a strong man’s battered ego. That was the intended consequence of the clamour over the years for a democracy in which every vote is counted, and every vote counts.
To the extent that it acts as counter-weight to the dominant culture of impunity that has come to define our polity, a representative democracy ought to improve both the collective capacity to choose, and the different cabinet’s will to execute.
However, to the extent that politicians interpret “re-election” as the main challenge of a democracy, then even the best voting process could have perverse results. One such result is the rise of populist politics. Because the masses may now have the power of the vote, what is to stop unscrupulous politicians from pandering to its basest instincts? To take but a few examples, a thin line separates the need for higher taxes on the affluent in aid of society’s redistribution responsibilities from a restraint on commerce as part of an ill-advised process of democratising poverty; a no less blurred space sits between the need to protect employment for locals and xenophobia.
A less than honest treatment of the policy choices at the heart of these two examples could lead politicians in a race to the bottom of the dump yard; more so in a democracy where people have only just begun to savour the power that rightfully belongs to them. Our best bet is a lot more conviction at the top. For leadership is not solely about bending resources and capacity to the discharge of the popular will. It is more about shaping the choice space. Agreeing a desired destination, and selling this to the electorate. It is, in this very narrow sense, a question ultimately of shaping the popular will. Of leading it down paths where only visionaries have travelled previously.
Again as between a visionary leader and a demagogue, the thinnest of lines demarcate. So we arrive at the point where we must agree that even under the best of representative democracies, the threat of continued misrule in this country does not evaporate overnight. This danger is heightened by the prevalent low levels of education in the country, both of the classroom variety, and of the civic one, which can only come from a long thriving civil society.
In the absence of such a society, then, our hopes for a better tomorrow, in the short-term, at least still depend on the quality of leadership we get. In the absence of a functioning democracy, a benevolent caudillo almost became a popular fancy. One, who, understanding the need for progress along modern lines, a la Singapore and Malaysia, rammed that vision through society. Once we change the rules of the game through trying to run elections properly, we deny this possibility. Instead, the new need is for conviction politicians, prepared to argue their corner as strenuously as the most modern constitution permits, while eschewing popular lines.
AIP investors are uniquely dynamic individuals or groups of individuals. AIP investors invest their capital in new or early stage companies. We have found that AIP investors are not a source of capital alone but we have found them to make excellent mentors. As most AIP investors are in fact successful entrepreneurs or business people themselves we have found that they are able to offer entrepreneurs advice and helpful suggestions based on the experience that they have accumulated from their own businesses.
Paseo de la Castellana 95-15
Madrid Spain 28046