By Sarjo Bayang
Politicians are perhaps the only temporal employees who decide and allocate their own pay package without due consultation or by any occasion of courtesy to inform tax payer voting public that employ them.
Bending the rules of employment, politicians get their job without being subjected to competent scrutiny. Upon getting the job, politicians decide the size and value of their own pay package without consulting or simply informing those that employ them; tax payer voting public.
In the passage of time, pay package of those in political posts gets bigger with increased value. That includes fringe benefits often not accounted for.
Voting for someone to occupy political office is employment creation where the job holder decides their own salary and fringe benefits without consulting or simply informing you the voting employer.
Voting is legal and economic empowerment
Your vote empowers the political post holder to make decisions about public resources including finance. Politicians decide their own pay package without negotiation. Their decision is not subject to questioning and becomes binding on every tax payer voting public.
In the book of rules on employment, performance determines pay rise and other gains at work. That rule does not apply with political employment.
Voters are not properly informed about the power of their votes, single or collective. They are not told that their votes create temporal employment for the political post holder who is empowered to preside and to decide about public resources, often without consultation.
Seeking political office and being voted for is a constitutional provision with legal binding. In conformity with legal and constitutional requirements, politicians take oath to serve everyone, including those opposing them.
In deciding about laws on holding political office, corruption and embezzlement which are both moral issues hardly attract sufficient attention.
Observation of moral duty in public office
Failure to address moral issues in any serious detail paves the way for corruption and mismanagement by insincere political post holders. Only when it gets to certain extremes that the lame and toothless bull dog of laws begins barking.
Like what obtains in purely commercial and strict business entities, if political office is subjected to stringent competent scrutiny, public resources would be better protected. Being given political mandate is both legal and economic empowerment for our politicians to drive on the superhighway of public resources without proper checks.
Only the few with serious sense of duty observe moral obligation to desist from squandering public resources just because of being empowered by public votes to decide on their behalf without due consultation.
Sense of duty is required not just from those directly voted into political office. By extension, ambassadors and other government representatives have every obligation to bear in mind that it is public resources keeping them on payroll. They too must be subjected to competent scrutiny by the taxpayer voting public who gives mandate and empower their boss to employ them in first place.
Unjust and biased abuse of political office can be seen by others as extended privilege or right. It however violates moral principles and breach of public trust whether those indulged in such consider caring about that or not.
Public Consultation in Government Budgeting
Deviation from standard best practice in governance begins where annual plan and budgeting get done without consulting key stakeholders. The tax pay voting public that employs people exercising such excessive authority without due respect to limitations require to be consulted for their endorsement.
Common practice in most political dispensation reveals the occasion where decisions are mede in the absence of key stakeholders. As matter of stage management, government of the day comes up with public announcements about their next move in dispensing public resources. That is what we see when the state Minister of Finance prepares an elaborate statement of account and the next spending spree by a government that refuses to consult those who employ them.
Once voting is done and gone and politicians take comfort in their term of office, they care about nothing except raking everything good for their front gate. Only when the next voting comes closer that some political post holders prepare neatly presented plans that looks good enough to send the public sleeping in wait.
Not much is changed over very long intervals of time. Politicians are the richest bankers on this planet who stuff their briefcases with invalid promissory notes that keep bouncing uncashed, each time the public relies on broken promises.
In better scheme of things, consultation is vital between those occupying key decision making public positions and tax paying voters.
There is no word fitting enough o explain the crucial position of tax paying voters. For key decisions about public resources to be taken without consulting such important stakeholders is one practice needing serious review.
Governance after all is just another way of management where public resources require proper accountability. Without due consultation with principal key stakeholders like the tax paying voter public, principle and best practice of good governance will be seen severely compromised.
Something can be done to improve this situation. Willing and commitment of those in power will make positive difference towards best shared interests.
The highest paid political position is still temporal employment in a permanent job. That is because politicians come and go. However, the good or mess they leave behind is enjoyed or endured by everyone in society.