The Way Forward

There is a reason the 2014 World Health Organization reported Romania has the lowest life expectancy in the European Union- lower than poorer neighbors like Bosnia and Turkey.   It is because corruption kills !

Alexander the Great once said “the people of Asia are not free because they have not learned the word ‘NO’.     Martin Luther King was an anonymous pastor in Montgomery Alabama until a small quiet woman in Montgomery, Rosa Parks, said “NO” when ordered to give up her seat on the bus to a white person.

We must continue to say “No”.

Over the next month, there are four essential steps forward

1) First, we must say “NO” to any new government led by a member of the political establishment.   We must demand a proven, honest leader that is independent from any of the political parties.   This is referred to as a technocrat government, such as the Italian government let by former European Union Commissioner Mario Monti in November 2011 (after Berlosconi scandal).

Article 1 of our Constitution guarantees that we will be “governed by the rule of law, in which human dignity, the citizens’ rights and freedoms, the free development of human personality, justice and political pluralism represent supreme values”.   If the first law of our country is ignored by our leaders, all other laws are meaningless.   It essential that our new Prime Minister and Ministers live according to these principals.

2) We must amend the election laws so the 2016 local and national elections reflect “the political will of the citizens and democratic principles“ (Article 8, Constitution).   In an attempt to consolidate centralized control and institutionalize corruption, the Parliament passed elections laws in May 2015 identical to Putin’s Russia and Erdogan’s Turkey.   We must eliminate closed party lists in every form of election – this practice is the root cause of Colectiv – creating City Council members that are slaves to party bosses and corruption.

Specifically, we must demand a two round system for electing Mayors (same system that saved the country from having Ponta elected President last year) and open party list voting method for city council where citizens vote for three individuals, not a party list.

For national elections, we must eliminate county closed party lists and return to electoral districts used in 2008 and 2012.   We must improve the electoral district system with a simple majority voting method and requirement that each candidate maintain a primary residence in the district they represent. These are basic demcractic principles used in all large parliamentary democracies with low corruption (France, Germany, England, Australia).

3) We should ask President Iohannis to establish a Presidential Commission made up of independent financial experts to account for the wasteful spending over past five years and propose a framework for future investment in modernizing roads and rail, as well as improving salaries in public education and healthcare. The citizens need simple proof that corrupt public spending has stopped and we have the money to invest in roads, rail, education and healthcare. (This information is public and is presented in International Monetary Fund reports).

4) We need a new political parties, new leaders and new ideas. You can form a new party with just 3 people and 300 RON.   It starts in your local election.

Romania has made extraordinary strides over the past 10 years. Imagine what we could accomplish if we have a government that works for us, instead of against us?

Sadly, human sacrifice has always been a precondition for profound change. I pray that #Colectiv marks the moment Romanians finally said “NO” and claimed their rights as free and dignified people.

It is not about politics, it is about your life.


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