Candidates for mayors have been promoted since mid-August and we have been able to find out almost everything about them. If there is something we didn’t know, the opposing side made sure that we were not left without information. Certainly, everyone with their own opinion of the truth.
The municipal councils were not too much in the public focus until now, except when it concerned some decisions that were on the verge of lawfulness or there was a need for raising the general hysteria in which the society is in.
The law determines what the responsibility of the council is, what its competencies are and what its position in the local government system is. In all these years, we did not manage to build a body, which would work, primarily, for the benefit of the citizens and would separate from the party shadows, which are hanging over it the whole time. How do you become a council member? What are the criteria that every submitter should fulfil when proposing a citizen for a member of a municipal council?
The science on leadership has different theories and researches. I will quote just one part of the opinion of Prof. Dimce Petrovski, who teaches leadership, as a starting point of the way of understanding power and governance.
“Power is a state, and governance is a process. If we have an incompetent power as a state, the process of governance will produce bad results. In the governance theory, three models are most often used: autocratic, democratic and liberal. If we choose democratic, then authorities are just officialisers of decisions made in a body. Then the responsibility falls on the body, and not on the authority. In that case, the authority does not feel ‘important’. And since that is the case, the authority does not want a certain body making decisions, and for it to just execute them. In order to have influence, from the very beginning, the composition of that body is made by itself or in a small circle of collaborators and thus introduces a certain degree of autocracy, which as a rule ends with total control of the entire decision-making process. That is why MP lists and council member lists are a product of the opinion of the leader at the central or local level. They make the list, and those who are on the list are expected to be obedient, above all, to the leader who has chosen them. Here the political party as a political body comes second. Autocracy always wins over democracy, especially when it comes to states and peoples that do not have a long tradition of democratic organization of the system”.
Science, as a condensed empire explains this entire phenomenon. But we are not a nation that reads too much, and big scientific books are particularly poorly read, and that is why we are doomed to atrophy of the system, all up to its last strength.
And as individuals, who agree to be on the lists, we are true representatives of our people, who always have one truth for the public, another for the immediate surroundings, and a third for themselves. Which one of these three persons is the real one and is a quality to select on the list of council members, is outside the area of political science and moral. No one has given such answers until now, except for the science that deals with the state of awareness and conscience.
Let me describe my first impression on the offered lists for council members from the biggest parties for the Council of the Municipality of Stip. And as an established profile, similar are the lists of candidates of almost all the bigger cities. I apologize for the lists of other submitters, but to the moment of this writing, there is no information about the people on them.
My first impression is that the lists look like a payroll in the health institutions. A male doctor, then a female doctor, and then someone from another profession, and again a doctor, and then someone from a related branch of medicine, and like that until the end of the series of ten, eleven candidates who are considered to be winners. A better definition was made up by a fellow sufferer of mine from the daily get-togethers, who says: “My appointment has just as many names of doctors as the list of council members”.
This phenomenon of candidacy of doctors in all segments of the government has several explanations. If at the start parties used doctors for influencing voters, now they use doctors for their own promotion or need for their voice in the public.
The week that passed already had several serious incitements for public debates on the number of doctors in politics and the possibility for the medical sector in the country to suffer damage in favour of politics. A series of grounded questions have been raised in terms of the complementarity of medicine, which in the very notion should have morality and politics high, which according to our comprehension of things is a compromised profession.
The latest examples with the accident in Tetovo confirm this opinion. Does a top surgeon remain psychologically calm, if he is called and decorated with most uncomfortable attributes all day? Some of his two obligations could suffer damage. And the damage is not small, nor to be undermined.
We had a report from Europe, which we forgot together with the conclusion that we are not able to implement it. Do we remember the report of Priebe? In it, the most used term was “competence and competitiveness”. Hence, a person should have knowledge and competences for a certain responsibility, but also have ability and will to prove that in competition. The respected gentlemen advised us nicely that competent people are needed for every place where a decision is made that has a social consequence.
I don’t know what the competence of the doctors is in understanding urban plans and annual budgets, but if one third of the Council consists of doctors, there is no dilemma that citizens think that they are competent for that too. Or the entire social mimicry has shadowed reasonable thinking. I’m just afraid that decisions will be made elsewhere, and as until now, council members will make an effort just by raising a hand, and that does not require much competence.
It’s also not a pretty sight when a doctor, who until the afternoon fights for the health of patients, raises a hand for construction of a building that will reduce the greenery, which affects the health of those same patients they treat. And in politics, compromises are a condition for surviving in it. For doctors, the compromise could be fatal for the patients. The values and rules are opposite.
This does not mean that I am against doctors being on various lists or in high positions in the local or central government, it’s just that their increased number inevitably requires comments and answers. Certainly, no one wants slandering of such a noteworthy profession by lowering oneself to the need of a council member lump sum or satisfying personal vanities among individuals.
The council has three commissions that are mandatory by law, but has the right to establish additional bodies that will assist in decision-making. That means that for successful work of the Council, candidates need to be proposed, who need to have elementary knowledge of the area for which they will be making decisions. That is why the decisions of the commissions of the plenary sessions are almost without exception accepted. There is a health commission in the Council of Stip, and now it will look like a seminar on a given medical topic. Our mentality has found a way out for this situation as well, doctors in the urban planning commission, and musicians in the finance commission, and all this by a tried method. The decisions remain with the administration, where the same term is used ‘advisor”.
Certainly, I will not comment the personal integrity of each candidate, just the process of selecting candidates for council members. How they will further convince citizens about their own ability to execute the function of a council member – we will leave it up their election headquarters.
The initial conclusion from the candidates for mayors and council members proposed by the parties is that the parties are slowly losing the staff broadness. An increasing number of citizens do not want to deal with politics. The absence of university cadre, which are around four thousand in the country, and of critical intelligence are particularly noticeable. The constant negative grinder of the party propaganda, which grinds everything that dares to show a different opinion from the leadership, is yet to bring negative results.
And despite the temptation of quickly coming to personal gain, the danger of complete marginalization and pressure from opposing groups and the consequences that follow discourage new generations of politicians and socially active citizens. I find confirmation for this again in the works of Prof. Stipe Suvar, who says: “the negative staff selection will completely average the competence of future leaders, and the whole system is patternized to dysfunctions, will lose the need of legal competitiveness.
And then comes only disintegration and great damage to the entire community, as it will be led not only by incompetent figures, who will not have the need of procedures and democracy, but will take hold of the entire power for themselves. Then come “priests”, then cannons and at the end – “thieves”.
Translation: N. Cvetkovska