Brazil has been seeing huge protests for more than two weeks now against many issues – mostly against a lack of transparency, corruption, and ineffectiveness in government.
How can these protests lead to a concrete, lasting improvement in the quality of government?
The model described in this blog provides a solution:
To govern a country like Brazil, to reduce poverty and corruption, and to solve the many other policy issues as effectively and efficiently as possible with only limited resources, “best practices” in policy making are necessary.
What are the best practices in policy making? Hard to say. To establish best practices in policy making Brazil like any other democratic country needs an effective organization working on behalf of the citizens which identifies what best practices in all aspects of governing a nation are. The citizens themselves must set up the organization, so they do not depend on “anybody else”, i.e. for example the politicians, to tell them what best practices supposedly are. The citizens themselves must identify them, so they can be sure they get the best solutions.
Second, the people must ensure that those best practices are actually applied in policy making, concretely that structures and processes in the policy making system are as effective as possible, serve the common good, and do not leave room for inefficiency. One system which the people must optimize is the system for corruption control.
To implement those two steps the citizens must join and create two organizations:
1. A citizens’ organization, lets call it “Optimizing Democracy Brazil” which initiates the necessary actions.
2. A “Citizens’ Public Policy Know-how Institute” which informs the citizens about the best processes and systems in policy making necessary to make their democratic policy making system effective.
The writer Ignácio de Loyola Brandão is very pessimistic about the outcome of the demonstrations. He expects the protests to ebb off after a while and Brazil to return to its “normality” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24 June 2013).
If people want to see a concrete improvement in how they are governed they must establish a joint initiative taking the necessary, constructive measures towards achieving this goal. They must identify the best practices in policy making and work together to make sure they are applied.
Brazil is an example for what needs to happen in all democratic nations to optimize their democratic policy making systems.