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Experts, professionals and servants on short lead

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We are going to have a government composed of experts. The incumbent government coalition and the ČSSD are each supposed to nominate the same number of ministers. The ministers should have no party membership cards, but here I dare predict that this “fundamentalistic” party-free vision will not be fully met. The president is going to come up with his version of a government as well – for the case that the two large parties fail to come to terms. Will there be any common candidate among the experts proposed by the ČSSD, the ODS and the Castle? And why an expert cannot have any party membership card? Is he going to get it later for merits? Or does he have to hand it over before joining the government?

Let’s look at the current government from the expert point of view. We would definitely find at least two experts there, but we can bet already now that these two men will not be present in any next government. For example Martin Bursík is the right man on the post of the environment minister. He studied the profession that his ministry deals with and also has professional experience. Karel Schwarzenberg was involved in diplomacy and human rights long before he returned to Czechoslovakia. By contrast, Miroslav Kalousek, who will (perhaps, maybe) stay in the cabinet, has a degree in chemistry. He is celebrated as a wise minister of finance, but is he already an expert? He worked in the parliament budget committee for years, but for instance his English (which is essential for any economic expert) is – as he himself admits – poor.

We could not find many more experts in the government, and there are even ministries for which there is no relevant profession. For example, is it possible to be an expert in regional development?

It seems that experts will not be too eager to become cabinet members. As the current negotiations of anti-crisis measures suggest, politicians are preparing a whirlwind of anti-crisis ideas and then will probably leave for holidays, also because there will be no money left for more fantastic plans. Experts will have their opinions, ideas and visions, but will not be allowed to present any legislative proposals and changes. When an expert will wish to issue a ministerial notice (or declare a major tender), he will first have to ask at the Castle, at the ODS or at the ČSSD whether they will approve it. Ministers will simply be experts kept on a short lead. It rather seems that the government members will be a sort of office workers who will survive the holidays and then perhaps the elections will come.

Would anybody from the consulting team NERV be interested in working in a government of experts? That’s a question. The NERV proposals are now being mixed up with the ideas of party secretariats. Why to serve people who didn’t appreciate your work?

I don’t understand the Social Democrats’ motivation. Why don’t they let the political government finish their job in their current shape? Given the fact that the crisis impacts will be worsening, the ČSSD could easily criticise the cabinet. Now Paroubek and his people want to take over some of the responsibility. Will Paroubek only criticise the ODS-proposed experts and praise his own ones? And what will happen when the government of experts leaves? How will politicians explain that the cabinet will unfortunately have to be replaced again by a government of dilettantes, fools and amateurs, in other words, by an ordinary political government of Czech professional politicians? How will politicians explain that experts are no longer necessary as soon as the political crisis os over?

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