Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Parliament didn't kill my idealism

I’ve gone on a number of job interviews in the public service in Wellington. What I’ve noticed is that the questions are largely the same. They start with “Can you tell us about a time…” and end with something that will demonstrate the ability to show leadership, work within teams, respond to crisis, time management skills, work-life balance, professionalism, an assurance that the workplace will not be brought to disrepute, and the ability to employ critical analysis skills.

For the last week I’ve been wondering whether these criteria apply to those who hold the highest public office – our representatives in Parliament. They seem to be able to get away with a great deal without consequences and still hold on to their jobs (this applies to all sides of the House). If civil servants pulled half the stunts that Parliamentarians do, they would be sacked. Being elected by the people means that, sacking is only possible via elections. But it seems the public as the boss are rather kind. They are rather lenient.

My advice to Labour candidates – please try to adhere to the standards that you are going to impose on hundreds and thousands of public servants when you take office. Which standards you ask? See Paragraph 1.

Good luck to all candidates and to the caucus, party members, and unions - hope you get the outcome you wanted and if not, hope you find a way to accept it anyway.

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