Reform of state and reform of government

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Many people think that President Traian Basescu’s new initiative of organizing, on the day of the presidential election, a referendum on the number of chambers of Romania’s Parliament is a mere electoral gesture, says Vladimir Pasti, professor with the National School of Political and Administrative Sciences in Bucharest and manager of the National Institute for Opinion Studies and Marketing, in an article published by daily Business Standard.

The electoral aim of this initiative might be to revive the conflict between the President and parliamentarians, a conflict that made him very successful in the past.
But Pasti warns against the fact that the sociological research shows that people’s dissatisfaction is not with the current form of the state, it is with the government, which something quite different.

The distinction between the state and the government is well understood by the population and is difficult to understand by politicians. And this is so as, for the time being, the interests of the two categories differ from each other.

„While the population is first concerned with to whose benefit the rulers rule the country, politicians are especially concerned with who rules the country. Consequently, politicians and parties struggle for who should rule and voters notice correctly that, no matter who comes to power, the contents of the government do not change,” explains the political analyst.

At least in 1993, when Romania joined the European communities, Romania’s government had one single aim and one single direction: joining the NATO and the European Union.
Consequently, any party or President winning the election did the same things. The situation went on like that till 2004, when Romania became a NATO member state and ended the negotiations with the European Union, remembers Pasti.

Up to that time, for one and a half decades, the Romanian rulers had trained themselves to meet the foreign requirements. „The decision they made was to rule to their own benefit, considering they got the country to manage as a kind of award for what they are, not as a responsibility for what they have to do to the benefit of the population,” says the author of the article mentioned above.

He says that the rulers „have taken advantage of this award since 2005 till now and, quite naturally, the population has drawn away from them.” In his effort to make the population take an interest in the meanders of politics too, President Basescu thought of the reform of the state and of the change of the Constitution, once again asking the question of who rules, without considering the fact that voters want to know to whose benefit the rulers rule the country.

„If we want to change the direction of the government, we do not need either the change of the Constitution or the reform of the state or the change of rulers. What we need is a change of the rulers’ aims alone. Who have to understand the fact that they are not asked to be either handsome or bright or authoritative or ‘ours,’ they are only asked to adopt those policies that should make the population live better,” opines Vladimir Pasti.

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