Good governance relies on the votes of the majority of the people

Good governance relies on the votes of the majority of the people

Screenshot of the article at Setare Sobh (Morning Star)

Fereydoun Majlessi, an Iranian foreign policy analyst in an interview with Setareh Sobh (Morning Star)

Morning Star, Faezeh Sadr: This year, Student Day is a different experience for the officials who go to the country’s universities as speakers. Because they face serious questions from students. Therefore, the impact of the social atmosphere and recent protests on the officials’ words is evident. Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf gave a speech on the occasion of Student’s Day at Tarbiat Modares University. In a part of his speech, the speaker of the parliament mentioned the recent protests and while introducing himself as one of those who contributed to the country’s problems with his mistakes, he said: “…we must prove the effectiveness of religion in the government…” Setareh Sobh made an interview with Fereydoun Majlesi, the analyst, who analyzed the words of the speaker of the parliament, which you can read below:

In your opinion, what does modernization in governance mean and for how long the governance process in the country has been challenged?

Governance in the Islamic Republic of Iran started well. Because it relied on the general support of the people and was popular at the beginning. That luck and popularity turned into respect, and the obedience that was observed later in the society was born from the same respect. But unfortunately, that spirit of obedience gradually changed due to the function of governance.

The fact that the governance would be popular, respected and acceptable is different from making obedience the basis of her course of affairs. In such a situation, the government does not know how to gain its legitimacy. It should be known that legitimacy should be obtained by respect and acceptance.

Such a government should not be afraid to refer to the people’s votes. So how does the government begin to confirm the competence of the nominees of elected officials and start judging human competence, while the people, as the main owners of the country, have inherent and legal competence?

Depriving the people of their rights, not recognizing the people’s choice, and limiting their wills is equal to punishment of the people. This process limited the right of governance to a special group, which is considered as insiders, and people outside this circle considered outsiders. Maybe once the insiders were 80% of the people of the society and today it is not like that. With such an assumption, how can one enjoy social capital for good governance?

Good governance must constantly strive to improve its relationship with its people and add to its social capital, i.e. its legitimacy and popularity. Good governance relies on the real votes of the people. Good governance involves the community in governance. In good governance, all the wealth of a land is at the disposal of providing employment, welfare and creating welfare for the society and in the service of the progress and development of the country.

The speaker of the Parliament talks about the need to modernize the governance. Can these words be considered a prelude to making changes?

It is hopeful that the parliament has realized that mistakes and problems have arisen due to the type of governance and have led to protests. But if it is supposed that this small circle of insiders and their children and relatives will be the agents of change and define the promised change by changing their places and assigning positions and jobs to each other, such action is neither evolution nor change.

Transformation in governance is achieved when the nation can effectively participate in governance and in basic decisions.

The question is how many percent of the people’s votes this parliament is depending on for coming to office, that today its president makes decisions, talks and plans on behalf of the nation?!

Be careful that a significant percentage of the elite of the society have migrated abroad due to pressure and disorder. Doesn’t this large community of immigrants have a share in the country?!

As in the past weeks demonstrations showed, one should pay attention to the demands of the elite society and take them also into account and respond to them.

When the representatives are the representatives of the majority of the society, the speech of the president of that parliament is the speech of the people, and when the parliament gives a plan, it can be said that this plan is the will of the people. In general, transformation is not possible with words, practical and real actions must be shown. Change and revision in the process of implementing democracy should be tangible for the people.

In the past decades, this trend has been decreasing, and hence the change and improving trend in this field can be recognized by the people. The words of the people should be heard and the will of the society should be acted upon.

Is it possible to evaluate the speaker’s words under the influence of the atmosphere in the country, or is the will to reform and change tangible among the decision makers?

The recent protests started with the hijab issue, but the hijab became an excuse to raise other problems and issues of the country. 

People today see that their income has decreased and the richest country in the region has become the poorest country in the region. The doors of the world have been closed to the country and the insiders benefiting from advantages and power have committed embezzlement and problems have been created for the country, and today the society is suffering from that point of view and has become angry.

The source of people’s anger today is not only the issue of interference in the type of clothing. Unemployment, inflation and rising crimes, etc., have created a reaction at the level of society today. When we have increased the population from 35 million to 90 million, how come we did not think about the nutrition, education, employment and climate of this population?! In such a situation, people feel that strictness in the field of coverage etc. is only to cover the weaknesses and ignore basic demands. Today’s issues are not a thing to be resolved by decree and law. People are demanding their role in running the country, in planning and in the wealth of the country.

Photo: Fereydoun Majlessi (source: Fereydoun Majlessi)

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