14 December 2007

The politician's mind

I often say that the politician's mind is beyond my comprehension, beyond any understanding on the part of we the people. Politicians (especially when they're only politicians, and even more so when they've been for a long time) are not people, they move on different rules, and they see the world with different senses, moral values, and filters.

That's why I can't understand, for example, the resistance of the national government to acknowledge the obvious problem of creeping inflation, with the pathetic stream of doublespeak that results from the public expression of this denial, and why I could never understand the failure of the Santa Fe provincial government to do the very simple things it should've done to ensure victory for its candidate. There were many, many dark spots in the Peronist administration, but the largest obstacles to their removal (as I see it) were the maddening entanglement of personal loyalties and personal feuds, ridiculous bureaucratic delays, and sheer tradition — the tradition of just going on as before even as the people more and more loudly demand for things to change.

On his first day as governor of Santa Fe, Hermes Binner had the police fences around the Grey House removed (they'd been set up to deter demonstrators from trashing the government house), used the front door to get into his office (where the previous governor entered through the back door), and went around the other offices introducing himself to the employees, who were both terrified and very pleased. None of these marks Binner as an outstanding human being or even a good politician; all can be interpreted as plain inexpensive PR and nothing else.

Binner then signed his first decree, cutting his own powers to appoint judges at whim; in this he followed Néstor Kirchner's example, and he took good care of noting this explicitly. And then he announced he'll set aside 30 million pesos, effective immediately, to repair public schools during the summer, so that they're fit for use when the school season begins next March.

Both of these things are minor expenses (political in the former case, economic in the latter), and they were never beyond the powers of former governor Obeid. Why did he let schools turn into dirty, decrepit traps, while public opinion grew indignant by the day after each news report showing their pitiful state? Why did he not impose limits on his own powers to appoint judges, seeing how society distrusts the judiciary for its undue political ties? Why did he spend millions in advertising things no-one actually saw or cared about?

You've already read here about tons of other awful things the previous government did or did not, apparently not noticing or willfully ignoring the political consequences. I can only guess that politicians' minds are alien to our shared reality. If this the case, let's hope Hermes Binner doesn't get caught up in that, after this start off on the right foot.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous19:08

    Foucalt said that the condition to the existance of power is the secrecy of his mechanisms to the ones how suffer it. I've thought for long now that the only way to truly understand politics, for theorical or practic ends, is in the search for power. This search, I've seen, became struggle under the hood of partidism.

    That said: I don't believe they are neither ultraterrestrial beings nor minions of Good or Evil. I belive, yes, that that understanding of politics means moving on other levels. I would then agree with you on saying that their minds are incomprehensible for the people, but only accepting that the "people" move beelow certain line wich determines where the search for power becomes his own reality, and not any other important difference between them and their rulers.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.