Good governance matters regardless of political ideology

Year: 2020

This post is written as a brief comment to an article published on Channel News Asia titled: WHO chief criticises ‘false choice’ between public health and economy in COVID-19 fight (17 September 2020).

“FMG agrees with Mr Tedros that treating public health and economic health as competitive imperatives is self-defeating. However, we acknowledge that countries which acted earlier, exercised discipline and took science-based intervention on a consistent basis are better placed to reconcile safeguarding public health and reopening their economies.

Their tragedy is that this is a global pandemic and the number of countries which have acted responsibly are a handful and mostly, though not all – China and South Korea are exceptions, small while most large economies such as Britain, the United States and many EU nations as well as Russia and India, have an appalling record of poor governance not only in the contemporary handling of the pandemic but in terms of weak public institutions and infrastructure as well as inadequate financial reserves to cope fiscally to both stimulate the economy and to finance public health measures.

This reflects decades of poor and short-sighted governance where structural issues were ‘cans kicked down the road’. COVID is the end of that road.

The result is determinative for them but also good actors. Good governance matters in both the short and the long run, whatever the political ideology of the government of the day.”

– Devadas Krishnadas