Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Neverending...hundred day plan

Latvian government accepted the plan for its first 100 days in the office (http://www.delfi.lv/news/national/politics/article.php?id=20070806). The accepted plan is well structured but dry. There are myriad of tasks and they are neatly subdivided according to specialization, whether they touch questions of governance, economics, national library construction etc. Also questions about the rule of law are among government priorities for the first 100 days in the office. To have the state administration running smoothly government could start from implementing common rules of the game, thus mandatory income and property declaration system should be the first signpost here. The closest example for the PM is not faraway, because inscription "nobody is above the law" (viens likums, viena taisnība visiem) is just above his seat in the cabinet of ministers.

The government is sinking, however, in the sea of neverending tasks. Those tasks are neatly structured but it does not help, because without clear rules of the game for all the participants of the Latvia Ltd. Inc playground, those tasks will never end.

Present servants (minister-servant lat. lang) haven't reached the level of statesmen/women yet, and they do not see the broader picture out of their stacks of papers. Instead of focusing on couple or three strategic tasks government ministers believe that tasks of state administrators are theirs to perform. It is obvious that they cannot cope with minutae tasks (who could, and why is there civil service after all), but instead of solving strategic questions the PM and his retinue hide behind the list of "very serious 100 day program", thus promoting the culture of irresponsibility and fostering depletion of trust in government among citizens.

As if to prove my assumption I peaked into webpage of the Latvian government. On the left side of this page one may notice a pollster asking opinion about the goverment's 100 day program. There is no reference about the issue of the rule of law, and obviously more than 50% of respondents have answered that cooling of Latvian economy is the most urgent task.

Cooling of economy is required indeed, but to cool or heat up economy in the situation of legal nihilism is dangerous because it creates frictions and consequent dissatisfaction in the society. Dissatisfaction about the lack of clear rules of the game is omnipresent and only Allmighty knows, how and where to this government plans to channel this dissatisfaction?

P.S. Radio news just announced that Latvian Ambassador in Moscow Mr Andris Teikmanis is summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and we may expect extradition of Latvian diplomat now. Also, Russian outgoing Ambassador Victor Kaluzhny went to say farewell to the Daugavpils citizens yesterday, but rather clumzily compared possible Kosovo independence as giving precedence to hypothetic Latgale sessesionism from Latvia... .

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