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Results speak louder than words

Jun 15,2018 - Last updated at Jun 15,2018

There has been a lot of anticipation this time, perhaps more than any other time in recent memory, as to who will be part of the Omar Razzaz Cabinet, and what it will and will not be able to do.

This is understandable, of course, in light of the fact that the Razzaz’s government has come about following massive demonstrations against the draft income tax law, and against what was perceived as Hani Mulki government's lack of communication and empathy with people.

Now that people perceive the Razzaz government as some kind of a "rescue" government and a government "of and for the people", coming about as a direct result of their discontent and their demonstrations, their interest in it is high, and so are their anticipation and expectation.

Seeing it, in a sense, as "their" government, they expect it, first, to include ministers they think are up to the task and, secondly, to embrace their demands and deliver on so many fronts, perhaps as no government in recent memory has been able to deliver.

And this will be the main challenge for the Razzaz government: to be convincing to the people, both in terms of the individual ministers chosen and in terms of what it can and cannot do.

High expectations, as we generally know and as we have learned from Charles Dickens' classic novel "Great Expectations", can be both problematic and unrealistic, as no government will be able to include all of our "dream" individuals and deliver on "all" fronts, and deliver substantially.

In this sense, there will inevitably be some disappointment by some people, both with respect to members of the Cabinet themselves, as well as the government's performance.

And this is natural, and a degree of disappointment is both understandable and acceptable.

Nevertheless, and overall, people's high expectations can have a positive force, compelling the government to be always on its toes and to work from the start to achieve an "acceptable" degree of peoples' expectations.

And reasonable people can both understand and accept that.

To meet people's expectations "reasonably" and "realistically," the government needs to work hard on two fronts: the conduct and performance of each of its members, and key results in key areas.

Regarding the former, the government has to pay close attention to the conduct and performance of individual ministers, guarding against those who come across as lacking communication with the stakeholders, provocative, aloof, uncaring and inefficient, etc. The government needs to, and can, work on the character and performance of the person it chooses for such an important leadership position before it is forced to change him or her through a cabinet reshuffle.

As for the latter, the government needs to do a lot, obviously, but two key matters are extremely important.

The first is that it should put an end to the provocative practice of trying to fix problems and invigorate the economy solely through levying taxes, lifting subsidies and raising prices. People are sick and tired of such a practice, of "being milked" as they say, which most governments have resorted to for decades.

People expect the government to think creatively and pursue other viable solutions. And they are many. And this is what the Razzaz government needs to prioritise.

The second is that the government should be result-driven. In all sectors and in all spheres, results can be achieved. And each and every Cabinet minister, in addition to the government as a whole, should put this as a top priority.

People are impatient, they will be watching closely, and they expect to see immediate results.

People, as we have prefaced, are deep down reasonable. They do not expect the results to be delivered all at once, but they expect to see results emerging, trickling as the new government gets down to work.

Therefore, the choice of individuals for the various Cabinet positions is important, nevertheless, results speak louder than words, and the Ruzzaz government will, and should, ultimately be judged not so much on the basis of who has or has not joined it, but the outcomes it collectively delivers.

Results speak louder than words.

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