Monday, March 16, 2009

Governance is everybody's business.

Government is perceived by most of us as a big dinosaur that is too big to maneuver, too expensive to feed and to amorphous to understand and get our arms around.

Most of us feel competent enough that we don't need to be watched or evaluated. As adults, we think we can govern ourselves. "Thank you. Stay out of our way."
At times, we feel belittled and dwarfed by constant supervision, and mountains of rules. We do know plenty of people that ought to do a better job; and if the boss did his job, well, then, things would go so much better. But us, we, we are o.k if left alone. Only when there is a food contamination scare, or a strike from the teachers' unions, or a hurricane knocking down power, we feel that someone ought to be supervising more and protecting us more.

Ethnic and cultural differences may affect how we perceive our bosses, how we interact with them, how we carry on with our responsibilities. Add religious beliefs to the mix, or beliefs about classes of people, and the task of governing gets complex.

In the western world ,we live under democratic governments, where people have a right to be represented regardless of their economic or social class, and where laws govern our interactions. Hierarchies and communication links will insure that every one on the assembly line gets a voice. There are structures and laws to safeguard the health, welfare and civic rights of individuals.

Everything becomes null and void if people perceive their interests are not being met. Selfish motives will trump every other altruistic motive. Cheating, whining, stealing. all might occur even before the individual realizes why he's so angry. He may even form groups of like souls, and together work to disparage and undermine the very institution that feeds them and their families.

Right now, around the world, there are many people who feel like that. Unless we learn what makes good governance and work at maintaining and balancing interests, we will be tossing around in a small vessel, though the big vessel is moored right besides us.

My point is we need good governance. We need to work at improving its functions, streamline its tasks, and identifying continuous quality improvement.

Good governance begins with a desire to improve its functions on a continuous basis. Good governance is at the heart of Democracies.


Fire Byrd said...

Well I agree, but not sure who can set themselves up to do good governance when they cannot even agree at the G20 about the way forward.

jackc50 said...

the goverment needs to govern themselves a little better before they get to us........and yes i did drive my english teaschers crazy back in the day, jc

jackc50 said...

i know i spelled teachers wrong in my comment, slip of the finger, that's all, jc

david mcmahon said...

Saw your comment - yes, of course I'll spend time looking at your work and going back through older posts tto give you some feedback.

jinksy said...

More agreement between people - any people - can only be a plus if their intention is for the greater good of all.

janis said...

How fortunate we live in a country that we have a voice. How unfortunate that many do not use it.
At least we have the opportunities to make choices and guild our government.

Pinkerbell said...

I'm calling in from the UK. I was only just discussing on another blog how we feel over here like we don't really have a lot of choice. There are other parties, but only one really which could be decent opposition. But the important thing is to keep on voting to make sure that the more extreme parties don't get a hold whilst everyone is being despondent. It's so inadequate to have to choose one whole set of values associated with one political party. Most people don't agree with everything a particular party stands for, they pick one issue and go with the best party for that, or they go with the one which they mostly agree with. It's unsatisfactory, but it's difficult to think about what else would work.

karen said...

Sounds good! Here in Africa, things are of course a little wilder... We are lucky to live in a peaceful African nation where democracy actually happens. Unlike our neighbour, Zimbabwe...

lakeviewer said...

Hello friends from near and far:

It's a good sign that some people are willing to talk about governance. I began the conversation as a monologue, hoped it would develop into a dialogue and a seminar, a sharing of concerns and points of view.
We got a start from the top of Paris Montmartre.
It really opens one's eyes to see a city spread out in front of you. It helps us realize that historically the king's castles and later, cathedrals were the tallest buildings around, touching the sky by the standards of the day.
This perspective allowed those in charge of lives to view the kingdom and ascertain its assets and liabilities. It is a perspective we all need to start out on our journey to discover the nature of governance and the elements necessary for its success.

Next Monday we'll begin to explore the interconnectiveness of services, commerce and geography, and how communities that thrive have learned to be reflective and pro-active.

We'll stop and read some seminal works on city planning, and environmental concerns.
Do participate with your experiences and your knowledge.

I do hope to see more participation.

david mcmahon said...

Humbly, may I say thank you for the generous comment you just left on my blog.

If that indeed is how you perceive my role in BlogLand, then I can only thank you for the generous acknowledgement.

I was taught by people whose sharing of knowledge began a series of concentric ripples, reaching further and further. I'm just doing my bit ....

Angela said...

Very interesting thoughts, Rosaria! I used to be a civil servant in hamburg, and though it was kind of boring and unsatisfactory, I knew all the time how IMPORTANT good governance is, even bureaucracy though we all don`t like it. But think of the opposite! When people have a right to be treated equally, and according to rules, and can complain without being arrested, and have a court to which they can go in case things have gone wrong - how much better is that that in the times of Absolute Kings!(which still live in modern Africa, sadly).
But as my husband and both my daughters are lawyers (one a judge, the other as a "work"-lawyer)I feel good that "we" are contributing to a functioning civil society. It is always menaced, especially in times like these, but all the better that some thoughtful people like you point their finger at the GOOD we have in our democratic societies!! Thanks for this!

Woman in a Window said...

I'm with you. Perhaps it's from a different vantage point that I meet you. It is slightly different in Canada, the feeling toward government, or at least it can be. I am all for good governance. That's what they're hired to do, right. If someone knows better than I than I don't mind one bit. Some people balk at the idea of being led. I just wish we had a significant leader (here.)

(And thank you for your kind words at my back door. You're welcome round any ole time and yes, you can hoot and holler if you please. In fact, you're invited to. Nope, haven't heard from me anywhere else - yet.)

Kikit said...

I'm not really politically-inclined but I learned a lot from your post and comments. I hope to learn more.

Renee said...

Holy crow Rosaria you are so self-centered. har har.

Okay, I will give it a rest.

Lots of love to you today.

Love Renee

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Rosaria, I left a long and considered comment yesterday to join your learned debate, and I am sorry I have no idea what happened to it? Perhaps it got censored by Blogland?! My best to you, my wise friend! x