[dropcap font=”0″][/dropcap]First and foremost, let me present my own views of the two catch-phrases; good government and clean governance. These two catch-phrases, in my views, are closely related to each other. When there is good government, these is clean governance or vice versa. In this connection, I believe that we should make a study of the essential ingredients of “good government and clean governance” so that we can understand them better.
The essential ingredients of “good government and clean governance”. I think, may contain the following attributes or qualities.
(3) The Rule of Law
(4) The Independence of the judiciary
(5) People’s participation and
Now, please allow me to elaborate on each essential ingredient as follows:
Accountability means being accountable. And accountable means responsible, answerable for a person’s or an organization’s actions or decisions and is expected to explain them when asked or necessary. The government is an organization, representing the people and as such, the government is entrusted to carry out and manage the state’s mission and responsibilities for the benefit and for the welfare of the people is represents. In other words, the elected government or the government representing the people is accountable, answerable and responsible for its actions or decisions and it is expected to explain when necessary.
Transparency means being transparent, being obvious and being not opaque. Or, in another sense, transparency means openness. Except for national security reason, everything carried out and every action taken by a good government should be transparent. And the people, to whom, a good government owes its administrative powers and existence, should have the right to have access to information.
The Rule of Law means the condition in which the members of a society including the government accept the authority of law. Under this doctrine, the government, and the citizens, the ruler and the ruled, must respect the rule of law. This doctrine also means “equality before the law, fair play, uniformity of laws for all private citizens and the public officials alike”. It also means that “disputes and differences that are amenable to legal settlement will be taken to the courts and peacefully settled, and that they will not lead to violence”.
And, where there is no rule of law, there comes in lawlessness, chaos and unrest. Therefore, “law and order is often equated with the rule of law”. Whenever there is a conflict, whenever there is a clash, minor of serious, civil or criminal, the rule of law must prevail, justice must prevail.
The Independence of the judiciary
The judiciary is the branch of government, responsible for interpreting the laws and administering justice. As such, “the independence of the judiciary is not merely a window-dressing, but a vital necessity” for a good government and clean governance. In simple language, the independence of the judiciary means that “the courts can freely decide, without considering the wishes of the government, but only considering the demands of justice according to the law”. From another point of view, the independence of the judiciary means the courts can independently administer justice, strictly following the stipulations of laws with non-interference or non-intervention of the government or of any other institution.
A government is simply an organization formed with the people’s representatives. A government needs no only the people’s support, but it also needs people’s participation in its mission and nation-building tasks. The greater the number of people’s participation is there in the governments tasks and duties, the brighter and brilliant success the government will achieve. People and power, people and government are interdependent. We have an old saying “if a tremendous task cannot be achieved single-handedly, it can be achieved by many hands”. There is an English old-saying which goes “many hands make light work.” In view of this, “a good government and clean governance” need people’s participation. The greater the number of the people participate, the better, the government.
Democracy, A good government is the government democratically elected. In this sense, a good government can also be defined as “the government of the people, by the people, for the people”. This being so, I think we can also define good government as a government, that is free from corruption, a government that implements people’s hopes and aspirations with might and main, with equality and justice but without one iota of nepotism, or cronyism. In other words, a good government can also be defined as “the people’s government made for the people, made by the people and answerable to the people”. And where there is a good government, there will surely be clean governance.
This write-up is the result of an arduous attempt of mine, to express my humble opinions about the topic. If you have any comment, and criticism, any addition, any amendment or any alteration to make, you are warmly and respectfully welcome. Thank you.
(1) Law and Custom in Burma and the Burmese Family. Dr. Maung Maung
(2) A book of essential quotations
(3) Black’s Law Dictionary (Second Pocket Edition)