Building a Government in times of crisis
It is beyond the scope of this website to discuss building a government, after winning a revolution. Every country is different, and I will not be impertinent as to suggest ways of building a government in a country where my knowledge is little to nothing. At least not until I receive an epiphany on the matter.
The only statements I can confidently make are, “Building a government is an art, it is never-ending, and the single subject on governing would fill libraries.” Those interested in learning more on this subject, should read the US Constitution, and The Bill of Rights. These two documents alone will serve as an outline, and give some hints to the complexities and pitfalls ahead.
Now that I have finished my introduction, telling the reader what I will not do, I will continue with a few observations I have made when war is the only option left to those who want freedom, democracy, and justice. These observations regard implementation of a temporary government during revolution and the expectations one can have in a war zone.
Democracy is a dirty business, especially in its early stages. During a revolutionary war, when it comes to democracy and freedom, the paragraphs below repeat what I said in Movement Leaders.
When the revolution begins, there will be freedom and democracy, right? Wrong! Nothing could be further from the truth. Freedom and democracy is a long way off. It does not come overnight, and it never comes during revolution.
Some say that revolution is born out of chaos. This is also wrong. Revolution does indeed cause chaos, but it is often born from a single unremarkable incident. The fact is most humans love law and order. History proves we cannot live any other way. That is why the world has hundreds of nations and has gone though thousands of governments.
The sooner freedom fighters unite behind common goals, common leaders, and common laws, the sooner they can concentrate on more pressing problems, such as winning the future.
The section Movement Leaders details the complexities of choosing a leader. Building a government will be immeasurably more difficult, and more important. My only hope is that I instill a sense of urgency for making wise choices, making them together, and making them quickly. I would be most grateful for ideas people might have about my thoughts, and any thoughts they might have of their own.
Three Branches to Every Government
All governments need at least three branches, independent and separate from each other. Only by being independent, can checks and balances keep one branch from gaining too much power. By establishing a level of transparency, the people are able to see through the parts of their own government in which they disapprove. By seeing through their own government they decide the path of their own future.
The previous paragraph may be obvious to many. What is more obvious is the beginning of next statement, first stated by John Dalberg-Acton.
Why do educated people tend to overlook this fact, time after time? The truth, as I see it, is humanity is corrupt in general. No ruler obtains absolute power in a vacuum. People can easily live with a corrupt and absolute ruler they enabled, as long as that ruler attacks the hated minority and leaves them alone. They fail to see that once the minority is dealt with, they are next in line.
No one should put someone in a position of absolute power – ever.
By preventing an individual from exerting too much power, a society can prevent the heartaches that follow. It is their right to prevent this. It is their duty! In fact, by preventing this from happening people are saving their own souls in the process.
During and after a revolution, it is imperative that checks and balances establish themselves early. People belonging to the Divisions discussed below, are reminded that their job is temporary. Transitional leaders are exactly that – transitional. Their main goal, aside from winning the current war, is to go out of business as soon as possible.
The Political Division, which we will discuss in the end, is the most important of all. While all transitional divisions will end, once the war is over, the political side will remain. It will continue, in one form or another, as an extension to the real government to follow. There is always a need for a place where people can talk freely about policy, air grievances, and other matters that concern them. All divisions answer to the Political Division.
Transitional Executive Division
The Transitional Executive Division runs current day-by-day operations. The people appointed to this division must have no illusions. They were NOT elected, and their legitimacy is fleeting a best. Their task is to concentrate solely on the immediate crisis at hand. Their actions and competence determine their fate.
- Executive Leader: Must be respected, capable, and possess a vision of the future that imitates those of the people. The leader’s main role is to get all parties of the government to work together in concluding the war. They may have the final say within the Executive Division, but have no say in what happens in other Divisions of the government. They report to all government divisions on the current state of the war.
- Military Minister: Responsible for one thing – winning battles. Replace them immediately if the war is going badly. See: Military Tactics
- Defense Minister: Deals with defending rebel held territories.
- Justice Minister: The leader of all lawyers and courts under freedom fighter command. Responsible for all legal matters.
- Espionage Minister: A spymaster that keeps track of his own spies and tracks those of the enemy. See: Infiltrators, Defecting, or Misinformation and Deception.
Transitional Affairs Division
The Transitional Affairs Division relates to current and future affairs. They deal with all needs of the people including information. They also plan for the day the war is over and when the two Transitional Divisions are no longer needed.
Early planning helps smooth out the transition to civilian government and greatly improving the chance of stability when this time arises. After the revolution the new government will be less chaotic and in a better position because part of the learning curve about running a government is already over.
By being independent, the Transitional Affairs Division limits the power of the Executive Division, ensuring that their actions are legal and acceptable.
- Affairs Leader: Leader of the Affairs Division plans for the transition to civilian government, when the war is over. They will watch over both transitional divisions but answer to the Political Division. It is their task to report on people in both divisions especially those who are not willing or able, to fulfill the jobs they have been given.
- Information Minister: Gathers and releases information, inside and outside of the country.
- Interior Minister: Deals with the needs of the people. By finding food, shelter, listening to grievances and anything else needed the Interior Minister ensures people’s continued support.
- Truth and Reconciliation Minister: Plans for reconciliation when the fighting is over. To achieve success in building a new future, all sides have to live with each other. While most will agree that convicted war criminals must answer for their crimes, everyone else MUST BE included. Do not doubt that many people belonging to the old regime did so for good reasons – acceptance, a sense of belonging, and most importantly, survival. Listed below are some reasons why excluding old foes is disastrous.
- It prevents reconciliation, which undermines efforts to unite the country.
- It forces them to join radical groups, the bane of every new government.
- Anyone excluded has no reason to work at stability and every reason to fight it.
- Is completely disregards the most valuable commodity the country has. Experienced people.
- It enforces the belief that all people ARE NOT equal.
- It leads to lack of respect for anyone with different political views.
- A country that forgives can build a better future. One that is out for revenge spirals out of control.
- War Crimes Minister: Responsible for informing freedom fighters what constitutes war crimes and investigating those that occur. The fewer war crimes committed during the war, the fewer incidents of old-score settling will result once it is over. Neglecting to investigate crimes occurring on your side perpetuates the belief that your side is above the law. Ignored crimes become festering wounds, and those who suffered will never forget.
The Political Division’s job is the most daunting. There is no glory in the Political Division, but without them there is no democracy. Too often, the outcome to revolution is winning the war but losing the future.
Although other pressing concerns might seem more immediate, disregarding a political division is a bad idea. By stating their beliefs and reporting progress on future issues, world support and support of the people may depend on this division above all.
The Political Division has the unenviable task of building political parties planning voter registration, and outlining a Constitution for when the war is over.
The Political Division also determines who in the Transitional Divisions deserve their support. They can dismiss anyone in these divisions. They can even select an entirely new group or people they feel are better suited or qualified.
The Political Division is the one division, out of the three mentioned, appointed by the people. Although not nationally elected, anyone with a certain agreed upon number of supporters will be part of this division. People appointed will represent the group that supports them; however, they must re-earn their support, every 6 months. The Political Division cannot exclude anyone who qualifies.
All those in the Political Division must go through a crash course in politics, governing, and readying the country for the political battles ahead. If planned early a smooth transition is not only possible, it could be natural. There will be no tolerance for members who are lazy, or whose single ideology make them unfit to work with others building the future. These pariahs will naturally be sidelined, or completely ignored, even though they are still members of the Political Division.
Those in the Political Division will be aware that many people, both in power and out, will try to change the time after the war for when voting starts. Whether done for political gain, or simply to buy time to alienate political parties, this practice breeds contempt and mistrust for the system. At a time when civilians need trust and hope the most they must not accept this betrayal.
If new elections are on time, and on schedule, then the Political Division has done its job correctly.
- Political Leader: A current member of the Political Division, elected every 3 months, by current members of the Political Division. After serving for 3 months, Political Ministers, or the party in which they belong, cannot be reelected for another 6 months. This ensures that the largest parties are unable to keep electing their own people, while giving unknown parties a chance to be heard. The Political Minister’s job will be to make sure that everyone keeps working to register political parties, people of voting age, and debating the new constitution.
- Finance Minister: Deals with financing and money matters. Allots the money required to the unelected Transitional Divisions, as long as the Political Division continues to support them.
- Transparency Minister: The days of closed-door meetings and agreements are over. This job makes sure that all policy affecting the current and future state of the country is transparent and above-board. The Transparency minister monitors all Divisions and reports to everyone, especially the people.
- Constitutional Minister: Responsible for outlining a new Constitution that follows the concerns of the Political Division. The new Constitution will not be complete until the revolution is over. However, starting it early avoids surprises later, speeds up the process, and helps avoid some of the messy quagmires that occur once the war is over. When that time arrives, everyone can have their say, debate it, and then vote on it.
- Foreign Minister: Heads the Ambassadors and deals with foreign governments and agreements according to the wishes of the Political Division.
- Ambassadors: They are needed in every nation, city, street, household…
Created: Jun 21, 2011
Modified: March 26, 2013