Min krönika i förra veckans Arjeplog Times

To do or not to do ?

Shakespeare once established the expression ?To be or not to be? in the play ?Hamlet?. The daily life of a politician is more characterized by ?To do or not to do? and it can be quite hard to decide what to do in some situations.

As a politician you must always be aware that you are not acting on behalf of yourself. You are always acting on behalf of the citizens of your municipality, and essentially the trust you were given by the citizens in the elections. This is a great responsibility that you should manage carefully.

Most of the time, it is rather easy to decide what to do or what not to do, since public opinion is quite clear or it is clearly stated in your party program. However, this is not always the case. The daily round of a politician can also be the opposite. Taking one action can seem totally rational but at the same time doing the opposite can seem equally rational. In the end it is a question of values and ideas and it can even be a question of loyalty to your village or local society. Then you, as a politician, have to appraise the different arguments and form an opinion on the basis of all the arguments.

This is the everyday life of a politician, but that does not make it any easier. You cannot satisfy everybody all the time, and you have to form an opinion of what is most important to achieve in the actual situation. Most of the time, I, personally, try to think of what is best for the whole municipality at the same time as I try to value the consequences for the weakest part in each and every situation and based on that, I form an opinion.

Sometimes, however, you have to accept that you cannot satisfy everybody. The important thing, then, is to explain the basis of your decision so others can form an opinion of whether you have come to the right conclusion or not. In order to let others have this possibility, you, as a politician, have to be very honest about the basis of the decision-making.

We politicians talk so eloquently about this, but far too often we fail to live up to it. We talk about transparent decision-making but how often do we succeed in putting it into effect?


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