Government approval crashes in polls

Salameh daraawi
Salameh Darawi (Photo: Jordan News)
Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh’s government is not the only one to lose approval in public polls after 200 days in office; the majority of governments witness the same trend, with discrepancies in pessimism and optimism rates.اضافة اعلان

It is natural for public trust in the government to decline, and not at all surprising, and the reason for that is that citizens have sensed no new improvements to the pains they have struggled with under the previous government, as that is the benchmark for progress or decline in the public’s trust of the government: merely feeling improvement and positive change.

In addition to being “unlucky” with the many issues that are out of its control, such as the water shortage, Khasawneh’s government was struck with several heavy blows due to the consequences of a deteriorating administrative status, which is leftover from previous governments.

Khasawneh’s government is today reaping the bitter fruits of what previous governments planted. The Salt hospital tragedy is a living example of public administration deterioration, and the loss of control over oxygen supplies is not an occurrence confined to the hospital, but one that is entrenched in every division and department in the public sector. And it might happen again at any public institution, including those of transport, health, education, or any of the other public sectors suffering from administrative inefficiency and a high saturation of employees, who seem to have parachuted down to the public sector.

Unfortunately, the government’s advances towards reform and change have been extremely limited. The government is operating on a day-to-day basis, far from comprehensively planning systematic work that sets objectives within a specific timeframe.

You get the feeling that each minister works solo, with no coordination among Cabinet members, which is evident in the performance of many ministers, who are today hiding behind the COVID-19 pandemic, which has served them well, as they are using it as an excuse for not doing their job properly.

There are also the Cabinet reshuffles, which total five now, with some only changing one portfolio within short timeframes, which has left the public with the impression that harmony is lacking between the members of the Cabinet. Glimpses of disputes have also begun to surface, such as that between the ministers of labor and investment for example.

The absence of an economic vision and a clear national program for countering huge economic challenges, along with the significant growth in negative indicators related to unemployment and poverty, have contributed to the aggravation of the government’s negative image and the decline of trust in its ability to face the challenges. The general perception of the government is that it has limited, if not non-existent momentum towards what is happening, while taking no initiative to reach desired change, being often described by observers as a rigid government.

Moreover, some of the appointments were not met with welcome from the public, and even caused discomfort, as the public saw that some of these appointments do not reflect the criteria for competence and integrity that the government calls for, not even in terms of appointment procedures, which also lacked transparency.

The rigidness of the investment climate, and the government’s failure to take any steps on the ground towards the legislative and structural reform of the investment commission, along with key leading positions that are yet to be filled, some of which have been vacant for more than two years, give the negative impression that these jobs are either unimportant or there is actually no one worthy of them. The issue also includes the relationship with the private sector, which feels isolated from the government, and that its partnership with the public sector does not go beyond its theoretical framework.

Khasawneh’s government, which received unprecedented support, has remained hostage to social media platforms, hiding behind the pandemic, which has created cover for the many ministers that no one ever sees anymore.

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