Jumbo Cabinet: Hazardous to Good Governance and Democracy
Transparency International defines political corruption as “the misuse of political powers for private benefit, in particular the benefits of power, status and wealth”. According to the definition, it takes two basic forms: corrupt accumulation and extraction and corruption for power preservation and expansion, and includes situations where loopholes in national laws and regulations are deliberately sidestepped, ignored and custom-made.
Two issues pertaining to the mega or Jumbo Cabinet may be highlighted here: firstly, the socio-economic and political necessity for a large Cabinet and secondly, if so, the procedure followed for purposes of allocation and utilization of funds by each minister.
Consequently, several questions are needed to be addressed seriously, speedily and effectively. Does not the political and economic cost of maintaining mega Cabinets exceed the benefits to the public? What about the argument that the reduction of the size of the Cabinet through integration and coordination could facilitate the achievement of national goals with lesser cost? If in fact there is a justifiable need for a large Cabinet e.g., Necessitated by the Constitution, can the large expenditure and adverse legal implications be rationalized i.e. Impact on the doctrine of separation of powers.
While many of the view, a government elected to power is rendered unstable unless the support of other parties in Parliament is obtained, which in effect forces the government to attract and maintain their support by offering them ministerial portfolios. The Opposition members, while dismissing this as a ‘convenient excuse’ allege that the problem lies with the Constitution of Nations, which keeps room for leniency.
A jumbo cabinet can have a chilling effect on the doctrine of separation of powers and eventually on democracy through the lack of transparency and accountability...