The recently released 2013 Maldives Democracy Survey "Democracy at the Crossroads" reveals a heap of statistics on the perception of a random sample of Maldivians on the practice of democracy in Maldives.
I was shocked and pained to discover its prime finding that there is a major inter-personal trust deficit in our polity – a whopping 92 per cent believing the politician's "readiness to lie to get elected", and a huge factor of cynicism also prevalent in our society – another eye-popping 86 per cent believing that "the government doesn't care about ordinary people".
While we may take off some percentage points on account of statistical error, it still remains a significant finding that our nation is struggling under the stress of nefarious actions by us polity that make these findings real. Is it not us polity that help to spread the distrust that is planted by the politician? Is it not us the polity that must establish in ourselves the courage to want the government to care about us? After all it is we who go to the polls to cast our vote for those we trust and raise them to the helm to look after our house for the next five years. Blaming our action after the fact and then jumping ship to join the winning side when we see our side faltering, or just keeping to the side-lines ensconced in the cynical view that "whoever comes to government, there will be no change" or "the government doesn't care about the ordinary person", are typically the action sequences that make our nation what this report unearths.
This is indeed a wake-up call for all of us Maldivians and for our politicians to help change this perception. In subsequent reports we would hope to see improvements in these indicators, and indeed such changes will be the quantifiable indicators that will endear us to our future servants and want them to continue longer to take us into a developmental future charged with moral fortitude, not selfishness and greed. A future in which our children will find the context that will lead them to be more trustful and less cynical.
The major question thus remains now is about how our government is going to veer the ship -- that is presently moving doggedly forward with the weight of the collective inertia of past baggage -- in the right direction!