With the introduction of new constitution we expected lean, mean and effective public institutions that could generate results. Instead it became a model of mismanagement acquiring numerous layers of fat in the form of political posts that suck resources best used elsewhere. Change in governments could not put a stop to distribution of political posts by the executive branch to clans, like spoils of war.
The parliament not to be left behind surprised and even surpassed the executive/government in the race for increasing political posts with the new decentralization bill. The bill introduced more than 1000 posts of island councilors; not to mention previous laws that created the post of parliament member for every 5000 pop.
With these developments democracy became a fiscally bitter pill to swallow for a debt ridden country like Maldives on the red. What could be the reason?
First, politicians may have doubts about public servants being politically neutral professionals with commitment to serve any government of the day leading them to bring in their own management team to ensure their policies are implemented without delay.
Second, ever increasing appetite of private sector for cheap labour (foreign labour) and cheap profits lead us to be classified as 22nd most miserable country in the world with 28% percent unemployment. Lack of successful effort from government, in increasing employment opportunities could have pressured the parliament from the grass root level to increase political posts at island level. What we gather from the actions of parliament and government is that somehow distributing political posts is more appealing than long term solutions like fixing a minimum wage.
The answer to having lessor number of political posts and improving our fiscal health lies in a vibrant private sector that has a healthy appetite for employing locals and a government determined to increase employability of Maldivians with various policy tools. Finally need for putting layers and layers of political staff in civil service could become irrelevant if the politicians could TRUST them to be professional, loyal and committed to governments of all colours.