• Reforming the Croatian Government

    The Croatian government has grown into a self-centered beast that is more of a detriment than benefit to the well-being of the Croatian nation. The Croatian government MUST be reformed before it bankrupts Croatia!

    The Croatian parliamentary elections are less than 2 years away - just enough time for a reform-minded political party to start developing a new vision for the role of the government. After almost 50 years of communism, 5 years of war, and 18 years of slowly crawling towards true representative democracy and a free market economy Croatian reformers will need to start from scratch in developing a responsive, affordable and accountable government.

    A political party which wants to show vision will need to show a PROACTIVE vision
    rather than having a program of reactionary policies
    • The first step will be to define the purpose (scale and scope) of government.
    • The second step will be to define the programs and vision of the government.

    I believe that a government should be:
    • Small and effective - and not eat too much of the economy
    • Responsible and accountable to the people that empower it
    • Empower citizen-government rather than ruling the citizens

    Three areas that I would like to move in Croatia are:

    1. Smaller and more efficient government
    Governments grow in size and scope because of two natural forces; the first being that bureaucrats want to protect their jobs and build empires and the second because special interest groups keep making demands on government for protection or funding. Well meaning people (for the most part) create an ever increasing monster. In Croatia, with a population of about 4.3 million there are 151 ministers in the parliament. This is too much.

    I would like to learn from the business world and see the following improvements in the management government:
    1. Develop a criteria for what amount of GDP the government can spend.
    2. Develop budget spending limits so that the wellbeing of future citizens is not mortgaged for the benefit of today
    3. Develop a criteria for what percentage of the population can be employed by the government (municipal, regional and national).
    4. Develop an annual program in which 5% of all programs over 10 years old are assessed to determine if they are still accomplishing anything of relevance.
    5. Develop an annual program where any law that is more than 30 years old still has relevance to society. Laws are to be updated or eliminated.
    6. Develop a Vitality Curve based process (20/70/10 rule - Jack Welch) for annually eliminating non-performing bureaucrats.

    + + + Government jobs should not be seen as comfortable lifetime employment.

    2. Government transparency and accountability

    At present transparency and accountability in the Croatian government are very low. There is no oversight and the people are powerless. The government is nothing but a bad soap opera that the people are forced to watch. If the people are paying for the services of government through their taxes then the citizen/customer of those services must have the right to change their service providers.

    The government must be accountable to the people. If politicians or bureaucrats make decisions against the common good, or they are corrupt, there should be a way to remove not only the politicians but bureaucrats as well from government between election cycles. to determine who is making good decisions and who is not, there must be transparency into all parts of government.

    I would like to see the following areas of transparency in government:
    1. Identify potential conflict of interest for all politicians and bureaucrats
    2. Show how each elected official voted in various government issues
    3. Show how each politician spend government funds in their area of responsibility
    4. An annual report which identifies what change or improvement was created (how did the nation benefit)
    5. Make public all contracts for government services
    6. Make an efficient and honest “Access to Information” program
    7. Develop a process for getting rid of corrupt and incompetent bureaucrats

    Ideally I would like to see some form of ombudsman that would investigate complaints by citizens or a department like the US Government Accountability Office.

    3. Implementation of Direct Democracy - Government by the People

    We Croatians do not trust the government, but it blue or red the governments to date have worked for their own self interest and not the interests of the people. The bureaucracy has a sense of entitlement and decisions are made that benefit the elites and those connected to the elites. Social engineers try to create a society which they think is best for the people without regard for the desires of the people. If the government does not want to voluntarily represent the will of the people then the people need to have some way to influence the policymakers and the elected representatives.

    I would like to see the following improvements to direct democracy:
    1. Develop a criteria of types of decisions which are automatically made by direct democracy referendum rather than by politicians.
    2. Develop an annual direct democracy - referendum program where the citizens can vote on any issues that receive over 50,000 support signatures.
    3. Development of a technology based, cost effective manner for carrying out voting on issues of importance to the population.
    4. Develop local direct democracy processes
    5. Ensure that decisions made by direct democracy can’t be revisited for 5 or 10 years and supreme court or government can’t overturn the decisions