10 October 2009

The devil is in the detail

Dear George,

inviting Greek citizens to apply for senior positions in the Executive, is a momentous step towards transparency and meritocracy if it is done right.  Other bloggers have already pointed out flaws in the process (see for example: We Are Not Alone, Ιστολόγιον).  We couldn't agree more with their comments.

As Greece makes its first steps towards a transparent, accountable, participatory government we believe that it is important to draw the fine line between meritocracy and populism.  Opening up the application process to "all citizens" is a populist move.  Not all citizens are qualified for the high level positions of the executive.  A responsible government must provide specific information about its expectations for the senior appointments it expects to fill through the open application process.

Arguably the application process is self-selective.  This, however, does not absolve the government of its responsibility to inform all citizens about its meritocracy expectations and criteria.

We applaud the gesture toward transparency.  We remain skeptical about the forethought and preparation (or lack thereof) that led to a mediocre and vague website.

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