Archive for the ‘people of Bahama’ Category

What is Government? – answers from current New’s ‘use of words’ (#3 in a series)

August 29, 2011

Is the Government those we elect or do they control the government?  I posed that question in the first part of this series.

With  “THE TRIBUNE” headline, “”

Government tours islands hit hardest by Hurricane Irene

“”…one expects the meaning of “GOVERNMENT” to be “the leaders of government”, perhaps a very small number of them.  Its unreasonable to think the entire body of people working for government toured the disaster area.  The body of the article provides a more precise meaning to the term.

“”Fly-in visits to Cat Island, Acklins, Inagua and Long Island gave cabinet ministers, senior government officials and members of the national disaster management committee an opportunity to see the wreckage first-hand and meet locals who weathered the category three storm.””

“”Director of NEMA, Commander Stephen Russell said the whirlwind tour will be followed with a co-ordinated relief effort to meet the basic needs of impacted communities.””

“””Now we can plan how to respond to the needs of the citizens who were impacted in these communities,” Captain Russell said.””

“””As we go into next week we will now have more focus.””

“””Technical officers of these agencies will come into the islands and start doing their formal assessments, going from street to street, door to door, finding out the needs of the citizens, how their homes were impacted, as a result of the storm.”””

“”Power and telecommunications should be restored within the next two weeks, Captain Russell said.””

This example suggests the government is the high-functionaries who direct large ministries, able to deploy resources to help people rebuild and recover.  The “Technical Officers” do not seem to be included in this definition of “Government.”  Don’t all who act in the name of Government and their actions count as government action?

The story demonstrates that “The” Government (High-Ministry Decision-Makers) is there to effectively direct assistance to it’s citizens and this seems to be a clear statement of the purpose of government though it is only implied within the above quotes.

As a side note I particularly enjoyed the “House Rules,” restrictions and community values concerning online comment policy by the “paper.”  We can learn to be a more civil society by observing successful, civil societies.  Manners are important after all.

The government here took responsibility to restore essential services, another “expectation” that we might have when we discuss or use the term “Government.”  If this is an example of good governance in a civil society, then we should contrast these observations with bad governance in violently uncivil-societies.

It may be instructional that bad governance in violently uncivil-societies occurs in the cradle of civilization and indeed bad governance is directed by rulers who could have learned from their ancestors which are responsible for a remarkable part of what many in the world commonly think of as “civilization.”   Perhaps a brave new world will bloom from this global crisis in “Government” and governance.

Stay tuned for the contrasting views of government and more on these News items concerning Syria and Turkey and what their expressions about government and governance means in “WHAT IS GOVERNMENT? – (To be announced, wait for it…), (#4 in the series)”