Political Evaluation Policy

Rafael Puyol. Vicepresident. IE Foundation

27 February 2013

The “professionalization” of politicians is inevitable, but it could mean that politicians end up in a rut. In order to prevent this from happening, politicians should be appraised and tested every four years, and if they don’t make the grade they should be given their marching orders.

Have you ever asked yourselves why political party representatives were capable of reaching an agreement on the initial text of  Spain’s Constitution, yet now they are unable to reach the consensus needed to establish a law which will have untold impact on Spanish society, namely a law to regulate evictions?

What has happened in Spain between the signing of the aforementioned Magna Carta and these turbulent times in which we are now living? My opinion is that the political class may have grown in numbers, but certainly not in quality, and I say that with all due respect.

There are two possible explanations for this fact. One could be that many people embark on a political career far too early. They enter public service with very little training or experience, and if good training is important for every profession, the same applies to politicians. The second reason is the durability of a political career, given that many politicians don’t even consider doing anything else in life and do whatever it takes to remain in the political saddle, lest a hypothetical vocation for consensus cut their career trajectory short.

The “professionalization” of politicians is inevitable, but problems arise when they see it as a job for life no matter what, and their work becomes merely routine and not very efficient. In order to prevent this from happening we should create a kind of Political Evaluation Agency, similar to those which exist in other professions, which should appraise the performance of all politicians in order to accredit their work. “What have you done for this country and for its people during your mandate? What initiatives have you promoted? Those who pass the test can carry on, and if those that don’t should be sent home. Now wouldn’t that work like a treat?

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