They say that people don’t trust politicians, however, every week you watch the news and see a huge political rally organised by protesters or an opposition party, and the faithful followers turn out on mass to support the politicians in the hope that some change will be created. This happens all over the world and politicians have become experts at engineering support by saying what we need to hear at any given time. The politicians win support based on a list of promises and proposals, then they win election and take control. The supporters rejoice in the hope that the leader or party will do exactly what was promised. This entire process is based on trust. It is almost as if humanity has learnt nothing from a history of mistrust. For many voters, the trust has eroded after successive governments have deviated from the promises made whilst campaigning.
Should something as important as running a country be left to chance and taken on trust? In all other aspects of day to day living, everything that is important is underpinned by an agreement which is enforceable. A political mandate is not an agreement; it is a doctrine. An inaugural ceremony does not guarantee that those promises will ever be kept, but if there was a constitutional requirement that the party leader and cabinet signed the mandate and were accountable by law, then this would be an improvement.
In our private business, there is due process, contractual agreements and even a risk assessment for some events plus, insurances. Most people read reviews and do extensive searches before making a commitment, but in politics the behaviour pattern changes. People are ready to remove the firewalls and take a risk with someone who can significantly affect their life, or ruin it completely. Why? Why have we allowed this to happen? On this level, it should never be about trust, the same due diligence should apply. Going forward, there needs to be a shift in how governance works in order to protect the voter’s interest. From a politician’s perspective, it is better to have some scope to make changes because of headwinds which are difficult to anticipate, but there should always be “accountability.” Anyone can make a promise.