MONTEVIDEO – Most politicians deserve to have their ears tweaked by the voters, Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez said on Wednesday.
“People are fed up with know-it-alls, fed up with pundits who, from the podium or the seminar, confuse governance with display, citizenship with television audience, policy with candidacies, campaigns with open season for elbowing, pushing, attacking, and debate with gossip,” Vazquez said.
“Sometimes people tweak our ears and most of the time we deserve it, because at times we lose the notion of proximity,” the president said at the opening of a conference of municipal officials from across Uruguay.
Governments that keep in touch with the people “will have a privileged position in the future,” Vazquez said, adding that he plans to discuss what he called the Uruguayan model at an upcoming conference in France on open government.
“Uruguayans, after they vote, don’t care whose party won, they care about the response they get, and that’s the duty of the national government along with provincial and municipal officials,” he said.
“Everybody working together is the only way to provide better living conditions,” Vazquez said.
“Despite the irreversible globalization that humanity is experiencing, today more than ever citizens need political mechanisms that they own, that are close to them, that accompany them,” he said.
“We should not fear the people, there is a need to dialogue,” Vazquez said. “To govern is to accompany the people, in particular the most needy.”
Vazquez, now in his second term, has made it a practice to hold Cabinet meetings outside the capital to promote connections between the various levels of government and between officials and the public.
He said Wednesday that starting with the next Cabinet session in the provinces, local municipal councilors will join the ministers.