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#3071: Re: On making public functions in Ayiti financially unattractive : Ruckle replies to Gill
From: James R. Ruckle <email@example.com>
There are ways to promote honesty in the Civil Service without relying
on the nobility of the overseers. What is required is a separate
agency of the government, an Office of Management and Budget, with
police authority and a mission of keeping everybody else in line. One
of the more irritating aspects of my state job is that I can't make a
purchase unless a completely separate Department of Administration
buys it for me. Such an institutional safeguard minimizes dishonesty
because I choose what is purchased and from whom, but Administration
carries it out. Neither of us can spend money without the other's
The real problem that Ayiti has at the moment is that it is a
"democradura", not a democracy. There are four steps in a healthy
dictadura - dictatorship, or "dictahard"
dictablanda - "dictasoft", or a dictatorship that permits some
liberties, and is controlled to some degree by "softliners"
democradura - "democrahard" or "democratorship", a government that is
outwardly democratic but has no democratic culture or traditions
democracy - a stable, elected government whose power is limited by the
rule of law
Witnessing part of a reasonably peaceful democratic transition in 1987
was a rare privilege for me. What I see now is a country that is not
completely democratic but does have some control over its own destiny.
When the people of Ayiti expect an accountable government, they will
get it. When they do get it, it will be much more stable. In the mean
time, I would much rather see corruption at the ballot box than the
tonton macoute in control. Remember, the United States does not have
an unbroken record of clean elections and responsible government, but
we have had only three civil wars in 210 years. (The Whiskey Rebellion
was the first, the riots of 1968 were the third.)
James R. Ruckle
"Defeat the enmity, not the enemy."