[Inside Government] Driving Progress: To Question and Criticise

Istillian

All's well that ends better
Second Minister
Cabinet





Driving Progress
To Question and Criticise

An Op-ed by Istillian




Europeia is run and powered by volunteers. You may be employed, elected, or nominated into a position in the region, but one of the remarkable things about Europeia is that an incredible amount of effort goes into making it work and function through the sheer ability and dedication of these volunteers. So to be critical of the effort someone has made in any given role is difficult. From my experience, and I hope from others' experiences too, positive and constructive feedback has always been provided for the work that I do in some way or another - but as a minister, senator, or any other role that represents the citizens' interests, there are promises that you give and are expected to keep when you are elected or nominated to a position.

In the recent Executive Satisfaction Poll a comment from Supreme Chancellor Lethen queried the satisfaction ratings of the previous term.
These approval ratings all seem artificially high; I wonder why that is. Are we all just that content? And is that a good or bad thing?
This isn't to say that there was anything wrong with the last term, or that there is any skewed data in the reports from the poll - it was a largely successful term from both sides of the executive. However, commentary and results from the poll results seem to portray a message that Europeians are lacking in their criticism of our executives, particularly with any significant commentary or questions from those that still have a "newcomer" status. This in turn makes you wonder if people are concerned about being critical overall, whether the very notion of criticising or questioning someone on their work would have an overall negative impact on their own career.

It is interesting to note that former Chief of State HEM reported in a recent address that,
I can't completely shake the feeling that in the back-half of this term I've underperformed my own expectations, been stretched too thin, and new leadership is needed.
Despite this feeling of under performance HEM still returned an incredibly high 90.5 percent satisfaction rating in the end of term executive satisfaction poll. While HEM is an experienced member of Europeian politics, and clearly performed well in the last term, this shouldn't exempt him from being challenged on the work he has done, or being questioned by those he represents on the efforts he made as chief of state.

Current Chief of State Pichtonia recently reported in his campaign as the only ticket running that,
This is the third major election in recent times that I'm running unopposed in, and I know you can imagine that it's frustrating. Anyone who has run for office can probably imagine. You don't join a Republic such as ours to be crowned
So knowing that Pichtonia was the only one vying to represent Europeia as chief of state this term, it was lucky that there was some questioning by cookiespaigentland, Rand, and Izzy; but it was Common-sense Politics (CSP) that put Pichtonia to the test with a thorough and rigorous questioning into his intentions for the coming term, giving insight into Pichtonia's true passion for the role, and providing information that may not have been gained otherwise.
Similarly, current Minister of Communications Xecrio, who recently ran a vigorous campaign for first minister, was grilled by Vice Chancellor Deepest House questioning the successful implementation of an upvote squad and dispatch program in the previous term. Xecrio has since allayed any fears of this not being a priority for successful implementation. But without someone questioning this, would we ever know until its success, or worse, its failure?

You could argue that the Senate has oversight of those in office, and holds them accountable to a certain degree. Generally speaking the executive satisfaction polls should also help with this accountability because of anonymous feedback being an option; but I would argue that we as citizens also need to speak up if there are concerns or questions about the promises being made by our leaders, as some of the more experienced and established members of our region like Deepest House with Xecrio and CSP with Pichtonia.

Questions are helpful, particularly if people care about the work that they are doing. The leaders that represent us also need to be held accountable to the promises they give, and simply communicating a concern or enquiring about the work people are doing publicly outside of a platform thread might just give us a glimpse into the inner workings of the region which we wouldn't have otherwise been provided with. So it would be at great risk to this community if we sat back and became complacent with what is being offered to us. Questions and criticism drive progress, and without progress we can never strive for anything more than the same.


 

Maowi

⛄ I'm walking in the air ... 🎵
A well-written article, Ist. I think debates about policy or decisions made by people in positions of responsibility are one of the most entertaining, enjoyable, and productive things that happen here, so I definitely agree with your overall sentiment there.
 

Kuramia

Trust me.
Forum Administrator
Council of State
Honoured Citizen
Deputy Councilor
I think some of our more vocal people who would call people out took a bit of a break for the holidays, but seeing people like CSP and newcomers like Cookie break back into and really dig deep is awesome!
 

Pichtonia

Chief of State
Chief of State
Council of State
Thanks for the article, Ist! It's great to read from you, eloquent as usual! I've always been a friend of the idea that the EBC ought to encourage debate, so I'm happy to see you capitalize on recent events like this.
 

Lethen

Irrelevant has-been (basically HEM)
Forum Administrator
Supreme Chancellor
I know personally that I tend to bite my tongue. The Executive isn't normally high on my list of priorities, so I don't have a thorough understanding of what is - and isn't - getting done. Oftentimes I only have platform questions on things that impact me more directly or I find interesting, and there are some areas (e.g. foreign affairs, WA things, NS Engagement) where I know I'm well out of my element.

That being said, the recent government's haven't given us as much to be critical over (let's say low hanging controversy fruit)
 

Istillian

All's well that ends better
Second Minister
Cabinet
I know personally that I tend to bite my tongue. The Executive isn't normally high on my list of priorities, so I don't have a thorough understanding of what is - and isn't - getting done. Oftentimes I only have platform questions on things that impact me more directly or I find interesting, and there are some areas (e.g. foreign affairs, WA things, NS Engagement) where I know I'm well out of my element.

That being said, the recent government's haven't given us as much to be critical over (let's say low hanging controversy fruit)
I'll admit, I'm not usually the first person to get into a debate or call the executive out on something that hasn't been accomplished - reflecting on that, and seeing others make inquiry into areas that I'd wondered about myself kind of inspired me to write this in an effort to not only probe myself, but others to query and question things more.

That being said, I agree that there hasn't been a huge amount to be critical over, and I generally don't agree with starting debates just for the sake of debating. But I do think that, even when you're somewhat unfamiliar with a ministry, council or whatever, it doesn't hurt to say - "Hey remember how you said you'd do that thing that time? What's up with that?" (Or something to that effect.)
 

Lethen

Irrelevant has-been (basically HEM)
Forum Administrator
Supreme Chancellor
That being said, I agree that there hasn't been a huge amount to be critical over, and I generally don't agree with starting debates just for the sake of debating. But I do think that, even when you're somewhat unfamiliar with a ministry, council or whatever, it doesn't hurt to say - "Hey remember how you said you'd do that thing that time? What's up with that?" (Or something to that effect.)
This might be due to time constraints, or perhaps it's simply my own approach to our Executive elections, but I focus more on the candidate than their platform planks. I will note the policies, plans, etc., but my larger focus is on whether or not the candidates can convince me they're capable leaders that can execute their vision.
 

Maowi

⛄ I'm walking in the air ... 🎵
That being said, I agree that there hasn't been a huge amount to be critical over, and I generally don't agree with starting debates just for the sake of debating. But I do think that, even when you're somewhat unfamiliar with a ministry, council or whatever, it doesn't hurt to say - "Hey remember how you said you'd do that thing that time? What's up with that?" (Or something to that effect.)
This might be due to time constraints, or perhaps it's simply my own approach to our Executive elections, but I focus more on the candidate than their platform planks. I will note the policies, plans, etc., but my larger focus is on whether or not the candidates can convince me they're capable leaders that can execute their vision.
I think in some ways that's a valid approach. Being a persuasive debater or being better than another candidate at selling yourself does not necessarily mean you will be better at fulfilling whatever role you're running for. But for something like a first minister or chief of state election, it's also very important that the ideas and plans are there, or else the term will be inactive and disorganised. Perhaps that's less true for the Senate, and your skills count more than your ideas going in, maybe? I can't say I can be certain about that.
 
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