Let's demand effective governance!

If nothing else, there is one thing that certainly connects us: we file the same tax declarations. No matter how much our opinion differs, we should definitely reach an agreement on how and what the government spends our money on - because there is no person on Earth who would rather get less bang for their buck.

Goals and outcomes

Whichever minority group gets the chance to govern, its values and interests will be evident in its choices. Ultimately, some kind of ideology will guide the government in how much money it allocates to different purposes. With electoral authority and taking into account the opinion of society, a government can freely choose the priorities it likes.

However, the ultimate measure of governance is how effectively the political leadership can organize our lives and how much return it can invest in building our future. In other words, how sparingly it spends taxpayers' money, how much future obligations it transfers to citizens with its borrowings, and all of this to what extent develops the country.

Efficient governance

If a voter sees that the government is implementing goals dear to her heart, she tends to judge the government's performance way better than it really is. And if a person does not identify so much with these ideological goals, then she tends to question even the most indisputable results.

It is, therefore, necessary for a wide range of taxpayers to agree on how to measure the effectiveness of a government: what should be the metrics on the basis of which we can compare the performance of the current government with a previous government, or with the governments of countries similar to ours.

If there is a common understanding in this regard, then we no longer need to argue about tastes and emotions when talking about a government's performance - we only need to look at the appropriate performance metrics and their development over time in order to be able to argue in favour of replacing the government or keeping it in power.

Measuring success

Of course, the most comfortable situation is when someone can define herself what the success criteria of her work should be. Politicians also prefer to show successes that are mostly based on results achieved on the ideological level, which are subject to subjective judgment, so few political actors will be interested in letting their voters judge them based on mere numbers.

But how do we measure a government's performance? In our opinion, internationally used rankings such as e.g. the Happiness Index, the Democracy Index, the Climate Change Performance Indicator, the national income per capita, or the average life expectancy. In addition, we can also measure the performance of some subsystems with similar frameworks, such as the performance of education with the Pisa tests.

So let's establish a coalition of taxpayers and agree on the minimum we expect from our current government - even if we have wildly different worldviews, whether we have a sticker of Great Hungary on our car or we display a rainbow pride flag on our balcony.