Political responsibility is about ‘sense of shame’
We cast our votes in elections and elect our administrators. Those who persuade a large portion of the people that they will manage affairs properly, win the elections, form the government and rule the country.
For them to manage the country well, we, citizens, fulfill those duties on our part. We pay our taxes and expect our taxes to be spent in the right places so that our issues are solved.
The duty of the prime minister and the Cabinet ministers are to manage the country well with those means we have provided them and solve our problems.
Let’s take the labor minister, for instance. Our expectation from him is this: Starting from his undersecretary, he should select the administrators in the organization of the ministry appropriately so that things are managed and issues are solved.
If, while selecting these managers, not through competence, but by looking for the answer to the question “Is he from us or not?” then at the end, work becomes unmanageable.
The labor minister, since the day he took office, has not been able to conduct a systematic study on labor accidents. Actually, he has a huge organization and competent staff at his service.
If the laws are inadequate, then it is the labor minister and no one else to persuade the government and the majority in the Parliament to make the necessary legislation.
It is also his duty to make Turkey sign the international convention to prevent occupational accidents so that the work safety standards of this country rise to the level of international standards.
However, the minister was not able to use those means to prevent the deaths in the dockyards and in the mines. Obviously, he was not able to select the proper people, was not able to use his powers and could not keep his promise to his voters that he would run business well.
If you make a promise to your voters, it means you are taking a responsibility politically. The necessary act when a promise is not kept is to resign.
However, in the “nature” of our managers, there is nothing like undertaking political responsibility and resigning. I guess there is no such expectation in the major portion of our society, either.
The opinion, “How can the minister prevent the accident all the way in Soma while he is in Ankara?” is widespread.
I am sure the minister himself also thinks similarly. He must be thinking, “Will my resignation bring back the dead? Will my resignation solve this problem?”
The answer to these questions could be this: “Yes, it could be the start of the solution of these issues.”
There are two advantages to resignation: First, he will set an example to the person who will occupy the position after him. The next person after him will use his powers well to be able to maintain his post, select his staff properly and take occupational safety matters seriously. He will know that if he cannot prevent accidents, he will have to resign.
The second is that he will also set an example for other public administrators. Managers of other institutions will know that there is such an example and they will take their jobs seriously as to not to be in the same situation.
As a matter of fact, the first person to ask the labor minister to resign should have been the prime minister. Because it is him who has selected that person for that position and he should have been able to see that after so many incidents, it was not a right choice.
However, prime ministers in our country do not do that. They should be reminded that their success is measured by the most unsuccessful Cabinet minister they have selected.
Political responsibility is also related to a certain extent with the sense of shame related to not having kept the promises made, but our politicians generally never possess such a feeling in their “nature.”
Never seen this before
After the major sorrow experienced in Soma, there could not be anything more normal than those who have lost loved ones to protest the authorities. As a matter of fact, this has happened.
What is abnormal, is the manhandling of, the beating of these people who have been through a horrible trauma. And that also has happened.
When I saw the picture of one of the advisors of the prime minister kicking a demonstrator on the ground, who had already been warded off by police, I thought “The prime minister would probably fire this advisor before he arrives in Ankara.”
Not only did such a thing did not happen, the next day, we witnessed some images of the prime minister himself punching a protesting citizen.
I don’t know what to say now. Actually I know, but my hands would not write what is going on in my mind.
You can easily imagine. We have witnessed colossal scandals during this government. And now there is a prime minister and a Prime Ministry advisor beating up citizens.
What else can I tell you?