Political Patronage is the relationship in which the politician or political party grants favours (an appointment in public service, properties, a permit, etc.) to a ‘client’ in exchange of granting his or her vote at the elections, other services, or his or her loyalty.
The popular synonym of political patronage is favouritism of friends.
Part of political patronage is nepotism which means: the preferential treatment of either relatives or friends by the authorities, for example by appointing them in high functions or by granting them commissions.
Why is political patronage ( and consequently nepotism) unacceptable?
The system of patronage has an extremely bad influence on the quality of government and in a certain way even on the mentality of our people who are no longer able to see the connection between their own effort and their personal progress.
Nepotism causes a serious violation on the main basic law (article 1.1 of the Constitution of Aruba). It namely implies that “ All those who find themselves in Aruba will be treated equally under similar circumstances. Discrimination on account of religion, philosophy of life, political persuasion, race, gender, language, national or social origin, being part of a national minority, fortune, birth, or for whatever reason is not permitted”.
Moreover, political appointments of incompetent friends to executive functions undermine the quality of government and the motivation of ‘colleagues’.
Why is political patronage so damaging to the Nation?
Favouring of the persons involved does not usually take place by the politician him- or herself or the party which gains political support. They make use of the financial and material sources of the Nation ( and consequently of the civilians and the commercial sector) to reward the beneficiaries. It concerns jobs in the civil service, government properties, or the granting of permits or commercial orders, be it ignoring the usual rules and price restrictions or validating them. The extensive party political appointments during decades have resulted in a huge hole in the budget of the Nation and consequently in negative results for the economy as well.