Prospects of technocratic government in Ukraine (Part 2)
Technocratic government in the modern world is rather the exception rather than the practice
Today technocratic views are popular with futurists and transhumanists. I am sure many watched the film o "Aeon Flux," (2005) which tells the story about the ruling elite that adheres to the principles of technocracy, maintaining a stable life a small group of people, trying to restore reproductive capacity of the humanity.
Critics have called it all utopia. The technocratic methods and approaches, not as a complete system, but as a single element of the political process, were widely used throughout the XX century. Some countries became leaders of the production due to technocratic approach. Let us recall Japan, the U.S., or South Korea.
When modern politicians speak of technocrats, most often they mean government consisting of experts and forms for non-ideological principles. Technocratic government that is created on a professional basis, is used by some countries to recover from a political crisis. Most often, these are countries with presidential form of government. After World War II, the government in Finland formed in such a way for seven times. Indicative in this respect was the situation in Italy in the first half of the 90-ies of the XX century, when all members of the government and leaders of the main political parties were involved into a corruption scandal. As a result, in 1993 and 1994, acted a non-partisan technocratic government headed by the director of the Bank of Italy Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. And in 2011-2013, Italy was led by the economist Mario Monti. He involved into his government bankers, economists, diplomats, sociologists, all the members were non-partisan. The Government of Monti has saved Italy from a prolonged recession, but after 13 months it fell under the onslaught of the political forces of the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Supporters of a technocratic government in Ukraine are counting on something like that. However, this principle provides for the refusal of quota distribution of ministerial portfolios, promotion of party members in the Cabinet of Ministers a set of scientific and technical elite. However, a parliamentary-presidential model in Ukraine can prevent such a government to implement the plan of reform.
"Normal technocrat would be never able to resist the politicians, and it is proven in practice. Therefore, the world already chooses the ministers and heads of government of political figures with a strong reputation. After all, the minister should be able to convince the political establishment of the necessity of certain actions, to have authority to prove that his plan of a budget is better than made by a parliament. But it all can be achieved only through political weight and authority of the minister or the prime minister. Is simple bureaucrat-technocrat able to prove something to ambitious politicians? No. That is why ministerial deputies become technocrats, but not the first person in the government," says former press attache of the Embassy of Georgia in Ukraine Bacho Korchilava.
However, under conditions where the well-known politicians are intertwined with big business, the proposed model does not work well. It is proved in practice.
The second point is the staff. When it comes to Ukraine, the government of technocrats, we are talking about the Prime Minister Natalia Yaresko. However, so far we have not heard of her team in a possible government. Who are these people? Is she able to form a government by herself, as it was in the case with Monti?
"In light of the impending changes, the topic qualitative content of the future Cabinet is widely discussed. All with one voice repeated the well-known and popular term – technocrat. But I still recall its generally accepted meaning. Technocracy is the society built on meritocracy principles in which power belongs to the scientific and technical experts. So, judging by the names that are mapped to ministerial posts, there is no one falling within the meaning of this term in the new government," says the People's Deputy Volodymyr Lytvyn. His fears are shared by many.
A nail in the Prime Minister's ambitions Yaresko is driven by the Verkhovna Rada. Many of the interviewed MPs do not hide the fact that they are not to vote for her appointment. Because the role of the Verkhovna Rada today is just to press the buttons and legislative component is erased.
Therefore, at the present time, there should be no technocratic government in Ukraine. "Technocrats exist in developed countries, where state institutions are capable, where is a reliable party and political control, where civil society structures reliably monitor power. And where there is complete chaos, and it is necessary to demolish the trash and build from scratch, where the ruling power shifts the responsibility for unpopular and difficult decisions at each other – different "technocrats" are needed,” says journalist Yuriy Butusov.
The technocratic government in the modern world is rather the exception rather than the practice. Some ministers appear regularly in different governments. In the United States, for example, in the last century, at the highest government positions regularly appeared engineers, like James Schlessinger, Harold Brown, William Perry.
But in Ukraine in the current Cabinet there are ministers that could be defined as "technocrats". Pyvovarskyi, Pavlenko, Abromavicius - they all came out of the business, they are out of the party, they have not been in politics. However, after a year of work, all three to resign from the Cabinet because of the impossibility to carry out reforms. For example, the new government will consist entirely of such people. Nevertheless, its head would no longer have his own faction in the Parliament, by means of which he can actually bargain and blackmail to push the government bills. And here is the complete paralysis of the government and a new political crisis in this scenario is quite possible. Yes, and "watchers" will exist the powers are separated. The ministers-technocrats are necessary, but it is not a sufficient condition for effective government. You can appoint cherubim with the seraphim as the ministries, but if they have to work in the same system with the staring and others like them, there would be no effect," says the People's Deputy Ruslan Solvar.
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