TEHRAN – Nasser Imani, a leading political activist, told IRNA on Sunday that “winning public confidence will strengthen the participation of the people in various social and political affairs and lead to the cooperation of the people with the authorities.”
The trust and hope of citizens in the administration is one of the most important issues of governance, which increases the social capital of administrations, and with the support of this social capital, decisions are made on the stage international.
Therefore, people’s trust and hope in the administration is very important, but the problem is that this trust in Iran has diminished somewhat in recent years, and this is a cause for concern. The question led IRNA to have an interview with Imani.
“Public confidence depends on the efficiency of the political system”
Imani considers public trust to be one of the great social issues, saying, “Public trust means how competent people view the administration of the country. “
That is, Imani said, that the people have enough confidence in the effectiveness of the political system, state and administration in running the country.
In such a situation, people confide in the administration which decides their future, is economically prosperous, provides security in all aspects of their lives and has created a culturally and politically developed system, the analyst said.
“Public confidence in the administration has declined in recent years”
Regarding public confidence in Iran in recent years, the political activist said: administration. “
Of course, some issues, such as sanctions, and more recently the corona problem, have had their own effects, Imani noted.
The decline in public confidence is mainly due to the economic problems of the population, such as rising prices, declining purchasing power, depreciation of the national currency, unemployment, an inflation rate of 50% and desperation for their future and that of their children, he said.
“The decline in public confidence was mainly due to their economic problems, which together with the rise in prices and the fall in the purchasing power of the population, the devaluation of the national currency, the problem of unemployment and the rise in price… and people feel that they are suffering from a kind of “statelessness”. That is to say, there is no one who can run the country, “he explained.
“The increase in public trust will maximize the common language between people, administration”
“The decrease in public confidence in the political system or the executive power doesn’t make much of a difference, whatever it is, it is ultimately a reference to the country’s political system and first of all makes people have less. participation in administration plans, “he nodded.
The first step to increasing public confidence is a serious fight against corruption
Second, the analyst noted, is that the “common language” between the people and the administration is reaching its lowest point.
These are in fact the things the administration wants to convey to public opinion, people do not accept them, and the situation is evolving in a crisis-ready manner, notes Imani.
“That is, with the slightest problem that may arise in a city or our province, it will become a major security and political problem in the country. As in the case of the water shortage in Khuzestan, the people felt that they were suffering from a water shortage and that no one was paying attention to their problems, and this is one of the consequences of the reduction of the administration’s relations with the people. Thus, the company becomes ready and prone to various crises.
“The lack of emotional connection between people and administration harms social capital”
Regarding the damage resulting from public mistrust, Imani said that the lack of an “emotional connection” between the administration and the people would undermine social capital and, in fact, ensure that the emotional connection with the administration and state reached its lowest level.
Because when people wake up in the morning and see that the price of gasoline has increased without the administration notifying them in advance and decisions being made behind closed doors, people naturally feel “alienated”, he commented.
Therefore, people’s problem with the gasoline issue was not only the reason why its price multiplied, but rather the main problem was that the administration behaved in a way that the people thought they didn’t trust them, and with these behaviors, the gap between people and administration will certainly increase, the analyst noted.
“Public confidence is the main asset of administrations”
“The administrations have nothing but the people and gain their trust, which has considerably diminished in recent years and the relationship between the administration and the people has been severely damaged,” said the senior political activist.
People will cooperate as much as possible when the administration consults them and informs them in advance of the difficulties, he said.
The result of such a situation is that people react, Imani added.
For example, he said, when it is announced that people must adhere to health protocols, some people do not pay attention, or when it is said that the number of corona deaths is so high, few people accept it.
“So because of this disconnect… people don’t take what is being said to be true, and that means people don’t trust and social trust between them and the administration is affected.”
“People will cooperate if public confidence is restored”
Regarding restoring public confidence in administrations, he said: “If administrations restore public confidence, people will continue to cooperate, no matter how much they have problems and how hard to live”.
The question is: how is public trust earned? the analyst asked, saying that administrations should not make decisions behind closed doors and that they should understand the needs of the people.
People have a deep understanding of many issues in the country, including issues like foreign policy, which is a specialized field, not to mention domestic issues, he argued.
He went to say that it is a general understanding on the part of people on cultural, economic and social issues.
Regarding the relationship between the administration and the people in order to gain the trust of the public, Imani said, “The administration must be among the people. Being among the people does not necessarily mean that a manager is present in the metro and among the people. ”
Administrations can actually understand in different ways how different walks of life think about different issues and what they want, the political activist noted.
Administrations may not be able to understand what people want, at least in the short term, so they need to consult with people to understand what is needed to solve problems, he stressed.
“Administrative measures to increase public confidence”
The political activist also said: “Administrations need to take a number of steps to increase public confidence, including honesty in words. This means that people understand honesty in the behavior and remarks of officials. It’s a psychological feeling.
Also, if people realize that the administrations speak to them honestly and share their opinions on national issues and problems with them, they will certainly do the necessary cooperation, he insisted.
“So the honesty of administrations is very important to people.”
“Corruption undermines public confidence”
Regarding the issue of corruption and public trust, Imani noted: “In recent years people, while living in difficult conditions, have noticed news of financial abuse… by some officials in the country. Creating (an environment for) corruption means incompetence and ineffectiveness. government, especially the executive.
It is no secret to people that corruption has increased and people believe that senior officials themselves are involved in and profit from corruption, the political activist regretted.
“If we follow the conversations of people everywhere, in the streets, markets, taxis, buses, subways and everywhere else, we find that they often speak logically and correctly about the same subject (corruption). When people believe that some part of the administration is involved in corruption, there is no other way than to show in practice that the administration is against corruption.
Imani added: “If the administrations are against corruption… and the people feel that corruption is strongly opposed, there will be more empathy and the lost trust will be restored.
This does not mean that there is no more corruption at all, he said.
Corruption does happen eventually, but by reducing it drastically, public opinion concludes that the administration is strongly opposed to corruption and will take it seriously, even if some officials have been involved, he said.
If this feeling is passed on to the people, these suspicion effects will no longer last, so the first step to increasing public confidence is a serious fight against corruption, the analyst concluded.