New York – There was no doubt about it! Most Moroccans failed to fall in love with the faces of Prime Minister Bankirane’s new government.
Moroccans consider the government not much differently than a mere annoyance A number of these faces are new and claim to be neutral outer-elements, and therefore not career politicians. Yet they still seem to invoke an obvious mistrust, if not a sense of suspicion, in the majority of the populace. Some people go as far as to consider them”crocodiles”, including Bankirane.
It is easy to understand why this doubt is generated by these new faces if you simply look at the long list of ministers as well as the nature of the superficial reshuffling that took place within the old government with the dismissal of one of the most active elements in it, Mr. Othmani. The truce just doesn’t seem like a truce one might easily consider real.
But if most Moroccans felt dreadful about the reshuffling of the government I personally found myself oddly on the opposite side of where most of the people stand on this position.
At first glance I was of the same opinion as the majority but when I took a little time to reflect on the matter and to do some research I found out that what Bankirane did was very significant in terms of the innovative approach with which he challenged the stalemate that almost cost him a total devastation within his party, the PJD.
But how was this so?
Well, the first thing I noticed when I carefully reviewed what Benkirane did was his willingness to reach out to his former political enemy Salah Eddine Mezouar, head of the RNI party. And by doing that ended up potentially manipulating him into a position which has nothing to do with Mezouar’s efficient qualities: foreign affairs. This kind of political maneuvering always emerges from repulsive truces in coalition politics.
One mark of successful leadership is the ability to shake hands with those who oppose your views or don’t share your beliefs. And by assigning the Foreign Ministry to Mezouar, Bankirane not only tamed the once enemy politician, but also put him in a position where he would not be able to touch money or mingle with the financial stuff. To put Mezouar outside the ring of financial transactions is almost like putting a gold fish outside a fishbowl.
But Mezouar is more than happy with his new post; and why shouldn’t he be? If this position were to be accessed through some election of sorts there was no way that the man would dream of snatching it away from someone else given the amount of moneyed skeletons the populace think he has in his closet. In a democratic country, Mezouar would have had to clear his name and do some major clean up from the accusations of pocketing public money through shady transactions before he could get this new job. His case reminds me a lot of some politicians in New York City: Charles Rangel is one of them.
However, Bankirane has definitely scored a major point at the technical level: he did so by implementing a “Revolutionary Restructuring” strategy unlike any previous revolutionary restructuring strategy. A lot of people thought of him as nothing but a sell-out – a man, who betrayed his promises, brought no social change whatsoever. He failed to hold accountable those government officials he deemed corrupt and whom he called Crocodiles and Demons. Instead of standing up for the poor, he raised prices of gas and milk for them. His policies just looked awful and made him look awful.
However, anyone who understands so well the inner working of bureaucracy and public administration knows that however unrealistic his approach may seem, based on abstract reasoning and technical grounds, it is actually quite the contrary.
Benkirane, in this regard, has done what any expert political bureaucrat might have done, especially when threatened by an outside pressure. And by choosing to recruit non-career politicians in his government, the so-called technocrats, Bankirane has in fact demonstrated that he is more of an existentialist head of government rather than an Islamist leader who might otherwise desire to maintain his freedom and loyalty to his brothers in the party whom he trusts blindly than risk being a risk-taker.
The problem, though, lies in the way Bankirane has enacted the strategy. By choosing up to 39 ministers in his new government he proved that he is not respecting the most important part of Revolutionary Restructuring, which is downsizing.
In business, as in politics, the road to successful change when a party or a business entity is threatened with deterioration usually happens through downsizing and reducing the costs of operation. But in Bankirane’s approach he has tended to do exactly the opposite. And this puts us in front of two scenarios:
A: If Bankirane has done this in good conscience then we have but to congratulate him and probably consider him an innovator, but until that happens we have to wait for concrete successful results from this new government. And if the latter proved his government the most successful government in the history of Morocco (and that may be possible), Bankirane would be deemed a political strategist who broke the rules of Revolutionary Restructuring as a method of strategy for solving problems in any organization be it political party or business. Therefore we find ourselves compelled to find a new term for his inventive method, this paradigm shift. I have taken the liberty here of naming it “Reverse Revolutionary Restructuring.” (Remember to quote me when you mention it in some lecture in Harvard Business School please, otherwise I would sue anyone who did so without my consultation!)
B: If Bankirane’s government ended up not in success but only in further chaos, then we will be sure that the man had no clue of what he was doing or, if he did, then he amounted to nothing more than a horse trading politician who strives only to survive this bout of political constipation.
Nevertheless, judging from his special TV press meeting on October 13, Bankirane has failed to help the Moroccan people decipher the complexity of his approach. He engaged now and then in a verbal brawl with the haggardly looking journalists who thought their questions were not properly answered. And he looked on TV more like a drug-addled, hatless leprechaun than a government head of state. He could have done us, the viewers, a great favor if he had been on the screen switching chairs all by himself while engaged in a serious self-dialogue a la Frederick Perls method rather than being surrounded by confused journalists to whom he wanted to teach a pointless lesson in journalism.
The only thing that seemed to make sense in his recent interview is his show of thanks to Hamid Chabat (head of the Istiqlal party) for the golden opportunity he offered him. Chabat, whom we thought was a shrewd politician but whose political gifts failed him greatly, was the key cause of this political blunder.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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