Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Indicators of Healthy Countries

You've got to read it to believe it. A serious article in the Foreign Policy Review magazine describes what contributes to "healthy" countries, and what looks good (free elections?) but doesn't necessary mean anything. What does work?
There are few quick fixes on the path to stability. Elections might give voice to the disenfranchised, but they don’t necessarily translate into effect1ive governance. High oil or commodity prices may fill government coffers, but they don’t build strong institutions. By contrast, steps that capture few headlines—the appointment of independent judges, the development of a competent civil service, and the implementation of anti-corruption campaigns—are often the key to improving a country’s foundations.
The three things I dream about when I think of a "healthy" Israeli democracy is
  1. Am independent judges (instead of a Friend brings a Friend elitest club)
  2. A government civil-service there to serve the needs of the citizens (instead of being served by them)
  3. Anti-corruption campaigns to eliminate the mafia-like elite that has developed a strangle hold on the politics and law enforcement of Israel