By Dark Politricks,
Over the years I have developed a total distrust in politicians and government in general. They say that power corrupts and I totally believe that it does.
We currently have career politicians who fill their pockets and treat the tax paying public with contempt. Therefore we need a massive reform of our governing system.
We need to have limits on the number of years any one politician can serve to prevent people getting too cosy. In my opinion government at every level should be treated more like jury service in that every citizen with a brain and a job has the possibility of serving at some stage during their lifetime. This would ensure that a true cross-section of society is reflected in the people who make our laws at all times rather than the white middle class males that dominate our current set-up.
It would also prevent MP’s becoming tools of the lobbyists which I think is one of the most detrimental aspects of our current system of government. Big multinationals and rich businessmen buy influence and affect policy and the honest politicians voice is drowned out by the loud-speaker who is bought and paid for by the rich. There are always honours to be bought and rich people wanting a title as we saw with the scandal during Tony Blair’s years in office.
I also think there is a case for doing away with political parties altogether or if not going that far we definitely need to increase the number of free votes on bills instead of having party whips forcing MP’s to vote against their constituents wishes because the party line has to be adhered to.
You may argue that such a system would mean a weak government as it wouldn’t be able to force through its own agenda however when I look at the UK’s 3 main parties there are no major ideological differences between them any more.
The only things that seem to matter is who is going to manage the economy better, will we get a 1p reduction in Income tax or 3p increase on cigarettes and fuel duty.
Europe makes more and more of our laws anyway and the house of commons is reduced more every day to a school boy debating chamber which is good entertainment on Question Time day but little use to anyone.
If management of the economy is so important, which it is, and our politicians are so useless at doing it, which they have proven to be, then another method is most definitely required.
We should have a committee of top economists that have the responsibility for the economy and nothing else. They would have the job of ensuring stable growth, low inflation, job creation for our citizens and creating an optimal fair tax system that would ensure high tax receipts without scaring off investment and stinging the average worker in their pocket.
They would also have the job of ensuring a well funded and invested social safety net national savings account so that we don’t end up in the state we are now where the growing old generations pensions and other benefits are being paid off now by the smaller group of young workers.
The National Insurance I am paying at the moment is not going to any insurance scheme that it should be to pay, e.g my own NHS costs, pension when I need it and dole if I become unemployed. Instead it is being used to pay for the increasing costs of the growing grey voters who have more power at the voting booth as all their NI money has been spent already by previous governments on wars and other wastes of money.
These economists could be voted in just like MP’s are on a 2 or 4 year basis to ensure they can enact policies that the people want and have the option of being re-voted in if their policies turn out to work or kicked out if they bring the country to it’s knees. You would have your chance to vote in a Peter Schiff or Max Keiser to this board and then vote them off again when they fail to deliver.
This would leave MP’s or the citizens of the country currently selected to act in their place to debate and vote on things that really affect people’s lives and matter such as drug policy, road pricing, immigration, social issues and so on. The normal man in the street or politician for that matter has little knowledge of micro and macro economics so why should they make economic policy when we could have proper economists voted in who can decide the best way of increasing our GDP, balancing our debts and ensuring our country has money and not a massive WONGA loan out to China.
As for the non economic based politicians these would be selected like Jury service, with wages missed paid for from the state, and let’s face it, an MP’s salary is going to be greater than most average wages anyway.
Plus this “Government Service” would be marketed as doing your civil duty and giving back to the country. We have too many people who think the country has gone down the drain and the politicians are useless, an old updated Greek style of democracy might be just the think to give people that pride back in their nation. Of course an exam or test would have to be done first when someone is selected to ensure you are not a murdering rapist or a total numpty with no clue about the world before coming on board, but let’s face it, if the Tea Party can fill Congress then why can’t we get some knowledgeable good citizens to fill our own parliament?
Just think of how many unemployed or retired people would jump at the chance of being paid to give back to the country they worked for all their lives, having the chance to make it a better place instead of watching crap daytime TV all day or pottering around the garden. Even people with jobs could take the chance if recompensed properly. They could opt out if their job is important or they feel that they would rather work than serve on the Government but lets face it we have enough retired and knowledgeable people to fill 600 seats anyway!
Also as these real people’s representatives would only have a fixed 4 or 2 year term there is no incentive for big business to invest millions in re-election campaigns by bribing them.
You might ask why would people give up their normal jobs for 4 years to act as MP and then leave to not gain their old job back?
Well for one I am saying we could enact laws stating that anyone selected for Government Duty must be allowed the chance to have their old job back once finished or one of a similar nature at the company they left, or the business would have to pay a heft redundancy payment to say “goodbye”.
Also I am not saying that people with a love of politics cannot have a “career” in it, they just cannot serve more than 4 years at a time, at the same level of Government.
You could start off on a local level at a borough council before moving up to county or metropolitan councils before then serving a term in the national Parliament. Also we could do away with the Lords and have a Senate instead to reform and amend bills that the House of Commons make. Just by going through those 4 levels that’s 16 years.
Once you have completed the circle you would then be eligible to either leave or go back to a different level of Government i.e regional or local politics. The knowledge gained from serving at National or County level would then help serve you and the people better when you go back down to local government. The idea is just to stop politicians working at the same level of government for their whole careers before getting a nice seat in the House of Lords forever.
So the 4 year fixed term is there to prevent the problems we have now of politicians being bought and paid for by lobbyists who promise cushy directorships and other incentives on leaving office. This would all be illegal in my system no ex MP would be able to work for a company in which a law was passed during their term in office that could have affected that company in anyway.
We should also make use of modern technology to create ourselves a true form of democracy where the people really do have a choice on the outcome of important decisions. Like California’s ballot system or Switzerland’s referendums it would be possible for the average citizen to force a vote if they got a certain number of signatures on a proposal.
Other big decisions that have previously been forced on the populace by government would also be held as referendums. Anything that took powers away from our country such as the European treaties should have to be confirmed by a majority of people anyway and its a national disgrace that we were promised just that and then denied a vote due to a name change on the treaty of Lisbon.
People say referendums are unworkable because you just get uneducated people ticking boxes when they don’t understand the issues and too many referendums would become an administrative nightmare.
However we could and should use modern technology to tackle both those issues. In my idea of a modern democracy you would only be able to vote in the referendum if you have first taken an on-line test that confirms you have the appropriate amount of knowledge regarding both sides of the argument.
The no and yes campaign groups would produce videos and fact sheets conveying their points of view and arguments. If you cared about the vote you would have to make the effort to learn this basic information and take the test to confirm you know the basic what, why, where and how the debate revolves around. This would also force you to investigate the opposing point of view as if you couldn’t pass the basic test you wouldn’t be allowed to vote.
This would be much preferable to a modern-day referendum say on Europe where you would have huge sections of the population voting one way, say against the Lisbon treaty, who had made their minds up about the topic years ago and if asked to read up about the benefits of the EU, trade agreements and the Human Rights act would probably refuse to on principle.
This “pop test”would weed out all those people who didn’t care enough about the subject or didn’t have the brain capacity to make a proper judgement call and leave only those who were willing to spend the time studying both sides of the proposal to pass the test to be able to vote on the matter. Therefore only real stakeholders in the issue involved would be voting rather than any Tom, Dick and Harry.
Although not a perfect system it would also prevent quick rushed bills becoming law as the time would have to be spent to make the public campaigns for both sides of the argument and to create the necessary tests to allow people to vote.
This form of democracy is true to the original Athenian democracy which had one person, one vote. However even though majority rule is more favourable in my eyes that a dictatorship or feudal systems of the past, a majority of idiots should not be allowed to subject the minority to a life of stupid laws.
We have basic rights and freedoms that need to be protected even when the majority wants to take them away. Therefore any proposed laws or referendums that go against the new bill of rights that should be created would be thrown out straight away by our new constitutional court. For example my right to free speech should be protected no matter what public opinion is or whoever is offended. A government with a majority of 100% should not be able to pass a law that restricts this right or to amend the constitution to remove this right.
Therefore with this idea of mine the prime minister, chancellor of the exchequer and the cabinet become less like a war monger, debtor in chief and a team of yes men to back them up, and more like a management team for the country.
Their job is to ensure the smooth running of all the departments and to make sure the country doesn’t fall apart at the seams. This keeps the state small and acting in the interests of the people rather than any other party.
Then of course there would be our new president that would replace the Queen and be our head of state handling all the global handshaking and un-signing ceremonies that will need to be carried out as all the existing treaties are unstitched one by one.
This is only a rough idea of some of my thoughts regarding this subject and I am sure this idea of governance will have some issues to resolve and I would be interested to hear about anyone’s thoughts regarding this.