OPINION

A job for the inept?

It’s highly questionable whether the impending constitutional provision barring deputies from practicing a private profession will prove socially beneficial. It’s common knowledge that a considerable number of the fathers of our nation have exploited their parliamentary seats and their attendant privileges out of financial expediency. An even greater number, however, have spent an entire fortune on politics, while yet more have enjoyed a relative independence of mind thanks to the economic self-sufficiency provided by a successful career. The problem emanating from the rule of incompatibility between a deputy status and professional occupation is that it prevents individuals who have excelled in any profession – whether in science, business, or arts – from entering Parliament as they are requested to turn their back on a career in order to be eligible. Regardless of the lawmaker’s intentions, the ban will lead to a Parliament increasingly made up of mediocre deputies (people who will give up their unsuccessful or inadequate professions in order to increase their earnings) or inept bureaucrats rising from party mechanisms. However, when a deputy’s economic survival depends on his maintaining his post, it is obvious that he will do everything to win the favor of the party leadership by always lining up behind its decisions. This class of «professional deputies» will turn into docile bodies and be stripped of the will to express any alternative opinion. History demonstrates that even when times were different, when the masses were inspired by ideas and individuals sacrificed personal interest for the sake of ideology, professional cadres of all parties eventually became mere cogs in a bureaucratic machine whose sole purpose was the perpetuation of power. Politicians are more prone to such degeneration these days. Even worse, a considerable section of these inept deputies are easily tempted to engage in illicit forms of moneymaking so as to ensure their well-being after retirement. This may all be proved wrong. Parliamentary seats may be taken by pure ideologues who will drop everything else to serve the nation. Realistically, however, it’s highly unlikely that these inept deputies will upgrade Parliament’s quality and ethos.