Stewardship is a term that describes the managerial role played by someone in managing another person’s property. A steward is not the owner but only the manager. When applied to politics, in the context of a democratic environment, political stewardship refers to elected leaders playing the role of political managers who are entrusted with the governance of a nation-state and its public resources that is the property of all citizens. The elected leaders are not owners of the nation-state and its public resources but just managers.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Political stewardship
Political Stewardship: A Benchmark for Evaluating Democratic Political
What is Political Stewardship?
Stewardship is a term that describes the managerial role played by someone in
managing another person’s property. A steward is not the owner but only the manager.
When applied to politics, in the context of a democratic environment, political stewardship
refers to elected leaders playing the role of political managers who are entrusted with the
governance of a nation-state and its public resources that is the property of all citizens. The
elected leaders are not owners of the nation-state and its public resources but just
Realistically, one can seldom see an effective or competent political stewardship in
political governance. It is the lack of political ideals like political stewardship, which prompts
a need to have this ideal as a benchmark to evaluate political governance. When current
political governance is compared with the benchmark of political stewardship, one would be
able to see: 1) Whether political stewardship is being practiced in one’s nation-state; 2)
Whether elected leaders considered themselves as managers for the nation-state or owners
of the nation-state; 3) Whether the management of public resources, tangible and
intangible, is judiciously carried out for the benefit of all citizens; 4) Whether a transparent
management accountability system is in place for all citizens to inquire, evaluate and reflect
for their informed decision making to determined the performance of their elected leaders.
Why is Political Stewardship Needed?
When there is a lack or absence of political stewardship, there will be increase or rise
of authoritarian oligarchy, tyrants and dictatorships, which are against the practice of
democracy and the rule of the law. Authoritarian oligarchy, tyrants and dictatorships are
against political stewardship as they consider their respective nation-state and its resources
as their private property. Any form of token civil government becomes their tools and the
citizens become their servants. Law enforcement agencies and the military becomes their
whip to keep all citizens in line with their dictatorial policies. Kangaroo courts become the
enforcement institutions to give sham legality to dictatorial laws and legislations. The
national economic becomes a private pie to be shared among the family members, relatives,
friends and cronies of the authoritarian oligarchy, tyrants and dictatorships. The remainder
citizens will eventually compete for economic scraps from their masters’ tables. This
scenario is now a reality in many parts of the world and not just a political fiction. Any
modern day person who cherishes freedom of though and expression, democracy and the
rule of the law should become a strong advocate of political stewardship if they don’t want
live like peasants in a nation-state of modern medieval-type tyrants.
What is the Core Schema of Political Stewardship?
Political stewardship begins with an accurate political schema that should be
ingrained in the minds of all citizens. An accurate political schema is one that establishes the
citizens as the actual power base of a nation-state. All elected leaders are the managers who
are entrusted to facilitate the implementation of the governing powers, for the wellbeing of
the nation-state. If elected leaders are just managers of governing powers, then, the
following checklist will apply:
1. Do elected leaders (managers) stand for and represent all citizens of a nation-
state? It takes all citizens of all culture, ethnicity and religion to make a nation-
state. If elected leaders do not represent the entire nation-state, it would lead to
eventual divisions, conflicts and political polarizations.
2. Are the resources of the nation-state invested and managed judiciously by the
elected leaders (managers) in a transparent and accountable manner? Any
mismanagement, misuse or abuse of tangible or intangible resources of a nation
state, would lead to the creation of debts that would have to be borne by current
citizens and the unborn future generations of the respective nation-state. So,
does any citizen want their elected leaders (managers) to make debtors out of
them and their children? Do you want your country to be a debtor nation? If the
creation of debts is not tolerated in the commercial world, why should it be
tolerated by a nation-state?
3. Do elected leaders (managers) use their entrusted governing powers to protect
or abuse the citizens? One clear-cut principle in political stewardship is that
elected leaders (managers) must never ever use the police or the military against
peaceful and unarmed citizens. It is like a manager using the company security
guards to beat-up the company stakeholders over differences of opinion. In the
event of a consistent breach of this principle, it is a sign that democracy in
nation-state is going to the dogs. It would be just a matter of time that
authoritarian oligarchy or dictatorship would emerge. And the nation-state
would eventually become a police or military state.
4. Do elected leaders (managers) once elected, start changing laws and legislations
that will promote their continual governance, which would eventually lead to a
perpetuation of a political dynasty. Whenever a single facet of a nation’s law is
changed, the question to ask is who benefits from it? If the answer is not the
citizens, then, one can be assured that it is for the elected leaders (managers).
And why should elected leaders change the laws for their benefit when they are
there temporarily as mangers for the nation? The answer is simple. They intend
to stay or they are making way for the creation of a dynasty!
5. Do elected leaders (managers) consistently use their entrusted governing powers
to manipulate the judicial system of a nation-state? When a judiciary becomes
the rubber stamp and mouth-piece of elected leaders (managers), it loses its
credibility to dispense justice for the people. And what can be expected from the
process is the creation of kangaroo courts whose decisions are just
predetermined announcements. A nation-state without justice eventually
becomes a lawless nation. The law of the jungle will then prevail.
6. Do elected leaders (managers) consistently use their entrusted governing powers
to mute the media of a nation? When this happens, news is no more news. What
the citizen will hear and see every day is propaganda. And what is propaganda? It
is basically the news or messages that the manipulators want you to hear and
see. And one can be assured it will be on-sided only. A nation that lives on
propaganda effectively become blind, deaf and dumb politically.
What is the final message of political stewardship?
To evaluate elected leaders (managers) by the principles of political stewardship is to
exercise the basic right of a citizen in a democratic environment. It s possible for managers
to become owners in commercial companies, but when this happens in a nation-state –
democracy is dead and authoritarian oligarchy, tyrants or dictatorships is in reign. There is
no grey area in this matter. This is the reason why the advocacy of political stewardship is
of utmost importance for persons who cherish democracy and the rule of the law. It decides
whether one would live as a citizen or just as a pawn in a nation-state. What is the use when
one gains untold riches but is still a rich slave politically whose fate is determined by others.
POLITICAL STEWARDSHIP IS A BENCHMARK FOR EVALUATING DEMOCRATIC