Discuss ways to increase the respect of the public for elected officials
The public has little respect for elected officials. Many of these negative feelings stem from the highly publicized, wrong-doings, and failures of public officials in the eyes of the communities that they serve. In order to return a certain level of respect for public office, back to a state in which the citizens trust and are confident in their leaders is a long, but plausible process. Methods to increase the level of respect the general public has for elected officials are to change the leaders’ attitudes, provide high levels of transparency, and hold those who are guilty of wrongdoings accountable for their actions.
The first method to increase the public’s respect for elected officials is to change the approach or perception that an elected officials has about their position and power. Elected officials must view their position or role as that of a servant-leader. As a servant-leader a public official, must serve their community and fulfill the obligations placed upon them by their position and power. After all a public official is a public servant.
Secondly, an atmosphere of transparency and honesty must surround elected officials, their business relationships, and decisions. Secrecy, lies, and scandals lower community morale, and only reduce the respect that communities have for elected officials. Finally, elected officials must be held accountable for their actions. This accountability exceeds not only taking responsibility for their mistakes and wrongdoings, but also giving credit where credit is due. Too often there have been egregious wrongs by public officials, with no visible retribution of punishment levied. Citizens will have a renewed faith in their electoral system and its effectiveness if there is a visible chain of checks and balances.
The public’s respect for officials can be increased. A healthy level of appreciation for public officials will ultimately support and promote a healthy relationship between leaders and the communities they represent.