Why Do We Trust Politicians
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I was looking over some political polls recently and
noticed the approval ratings of Congress are dismally low, 13-37%
depending on the poll you read. Offhand, this would indicate we do not
believe they are doing the job we elected them to do, and a violation
of our trust. But America is not alone in this regards; in the reports
I read, politicians around the world are generally not trusted. In one
report I read, used car salesmen were judged to have better integrity
than politicians, and they may very well be on to something here.
may like to grumble about politicians but I tend to believe we trust
them a lot more than we think. After all, how were they elected to
office to begin with and why do we keep reelecting them term after
term? Is it because there are no other qualified candidates to do the
job? Is the pay and benefits bad? I don't think so. Actually, I think
the public's outrage is gone and, knowing this, our government
officials feel free to do whatever they want.
elect government officials to uphold the interests of their
constituents and for the common good. Hopefully, the politicians will
have the same interests and moral values as the people they represent,
but somewhere along the way the politicians inevitably get their
priorities mixed up and forget what they were elected to do. After a
politician has promised the voter the world on a platter, he is
basically free to make decisions and vote as he sees fit, regardless of
pertinent opinion polls. In fact, politicians are probably more
interested in what the lobbyists have to say than their own
constituents. This means accountability is really what is at the core
of the issue here.
It has been my experience
that voters tend to gloss over the politician's record while in office.
As an employer, I tend to keep track of employee punctuality,
absenteeism, and decisions and mistakes made. Conversely, voters should
be made aware of their elected official's actions in office, such as
attendance at meetings, and voting record. Since we periodically
prepare evaluation reports for employees, what's wrong with producing a
similar report for our officials on a routine basis, such as annually?
After all, who works for who here? Aside from implanting electrodes in
the politician's head, I know of no other way to rebuild trust than to
routinely review the official's work. If it works in business, why not
Perhaps the biggest fear we
have as voters is political corruption, and the temptation to become
such can be irresistible to even the best of us. Far too many
politicians have become exceedingly rich and powerful due to kickbacks
in support of lobbyists. Interestingly, I cannot seem to find this in
the job description for any government official.
ago, Milton Eisenhower pointed out the President of the United States
has the power to call for a Continental Congress whereby our governing
rules can be reexamined and amended accordingly. Such a Congress has
not been held for over 200 years. Think about it, this would be a
golden opportunity to revise our electoral process, rethink the role of
lobbyists, and determine performance evaluations for our officials,
among other things. Regrettably, there is nobody on the horizon with
the political fortitude to do this. Only the American people can put
forth the necessary political pressure to call for such a Congress, but
unfortunately, the public isn't that strong or sophisticated,
consequently, the politicians will continue on their merry way and the
taxpayers will continue to distrust their officials.
time you find yourself upset about politicians violating the public
trust, ask yourself how outraged you are and what you are willing to do
Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.
Keep the Faith!
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About the Author
Tim Bryce is the Managing
Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA)
of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the
management consulting field. He can be reached at email@example.com
Download Tim's eBook
(PDF), "The Bryce is Right! Empowering Managers in today's Corporate
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Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-05-19 14:40:03 in Business Articles