Oh, Superman, where are you now,
When everything’s gone wrong somehow?
The men of steel, the men of power,
Are losing control by the hour!
Okay, so people ask me what do I mean by "rule o’flaw"?!? It’s a style of policy-making and/or governing a country that only appears to comply with all principles that we normally label as Rule-of-Law. A style, I say, mostly visible in nowadays Romania, though its infancy could have been predicted, once we look back at the signs 🙁 If you have similar examples from amongst the EU Member States, please, share your views…
In essence, political parties stand in elections, get a good score, and then form a Cabinet with a strong majority in Parliament. Based on the Governing Program, then, the Cabinet receives a confidence vote in Parliament, and starts solving domestic problems, meeting social needs, achieving policy objectives, in a decision-making process open to public scrutiny.
When the “men of steel” in that Cabinet can’t seem to agree with each other in their process of decision-making, policy-making, governing, they simply start making mistakes 🙁 And then try to cover their mistakes with more and more chaotic and flawed decisions:
- To illustrate with the Romanian situation, a series of mistakes, already gone out of control, is adopting 4 modifications to only one law (public procurement, to be exact) in less than 6 months!
- Another mistake is for those “men of power” to wait 2 months before they agree on the budget law, then sign an agreement with the IMF, only to change the state budget radically, twice!, just after 2 more months!
- Top of the list, incapable to design an effective employment policy, along with the accompanying salaries in the public sector and incentives for new jobs in the private sector, facing a range of strikes in education, transportation and justice, the Cabinet and the President decide not to apply existing legislation!
This time, it’s about the law regarding salaries for teaching staff; some time ago, it was about disregarding laws on public participation in decision-making, on regulatory impact assessment for newly proposed laws, on promoting Codes without obligatory opinions from independent state authorities. Since the new Cabinet took office, almost 50 Government Decrees were adopted with no consideration to Parliament and/or stakeholders 🙁
In the absence of public scrutiny, dodged either with Emergency Ordinances, or with complete disregard for the law, this is no governance, and definitely no Rule-of-Law 🙁 But covering one mistake with the next, all of them disguised as emergency measures owing to the financial crisis that hit all over the US and Europe, ain’t governing, either! It’s a masquerade! Not even rule-by-my-law, as I ventured some time ago 🙁 I’m too polite to call it just plain stupid, so, please, bear with me, and let’s all call it rule o’flaw 🙁
Nash, Hudson & Luttrell (2006) look at governance to mean the “extent [to which] social institutions (both in the public and private sectors), demonstrate a capacity to make and meet commitments, deliver reliably a minimum of social services and be held accountable for their performance.”