new political landscape
“There’s no-one to choose from!”
Ah, politics! Who on earth wants to sit through endless, mind-numbing meetings going over minute details on unemployment strategies, economic policies, health reforms, obscure laws …? A list of things that, I will concede, when thinking about ideas, about improvements, about the bigger picture, can be interesting, and, of course, are vital for us all. But the reality for any budding politician starting on a local level is meetings full of insular pedants: small-time career politicians who haven’t actually lived much in the real world. Politics is a game – you support your football team, you stick with your football team – the name of the game is to try and get power by showing everyone that the other side is atrocious!
My little ramble there is to help me think about why there are not enough women in politics. It’s not just because they’re discriminated against, I think it’s because politics is just not an appealing sector to dedicate your life to. So, in the end, the political shelf gets filled up with businessMEN on a power high, looking for ways to make more money and connections, or the career politicians I’ve mentioned, or other irritating people who want to get involved in that weird little world because they want to feel important. Or they just enjoy boring meetings. I’m sure, also, there is the occasional, well-meaning and dedicated individual who wants to make a difference, but they are the exception.
So, how can we change this stale political landscape? I propose that a small, well-functioning country does a little experiment – for the good of humanity. The current standard election process of electing the same old politicians gets chucked out the window and they do this:
- Draw up a list of vital functions in society – teachers, vets, doctors, tradesmen, salespeople, retirees, unemployed, whatever else.
- People nominate who they want to represent them from their own group.
- Each group then elects the person they want to represent them.
- These ‘best of type’ then ‘serve’ their country for five years as the elected representatives.
- They, in turn, elect a chairperson (not a president or prime minister, please) each year. Yes. Each year. No time for a power high.
I think this would crosscut through all the various layers of discrimination that currently exist in politics, because people would be choosing real people, not politicians. (I accept that some refinement to this model may be required, as it’s been bashed out in half an hour.)
Why not- give five year terms for elected members, but forbid any member from ever standing again? The need to hang onto power then disappears.
Yes, definitely! One term only. And I was thinking actually that maybe only two or three year terms might be better. We have a preconceived notion of how long it takes to ‘put policies into action’ but we get that from wrangling politicians. Perhaps this group of talented people coming together within a shorter time-frame would be much more efficient and effective!
I like your idea – it would be tremendously difficult to implement it because of how our country is entrenched in its current election process, but you’re right that certain people avoid politics because of how dirty it can be. This past summer I went to a college program/camp/thing about government and politics; we all had to participate in a fake election. It was one of the dirtiest things I had ever seen. If a bunch of seventeen-year-old boys could already produce a scandal-filled mock election, just thinking about what politicians must go through… -_-
Anyway, sorry for the tangent. Great post!
How funny! I guess it’s just natural human competitive behaviour – brings out the worst in people. But interestingly, makes me think even more that completely overhauling the system so it’s no longer a competition for ‘power’, but a random nomination process for ‘service’ would be a useful experiment.
“So, in the end, the political shelf gets filled up with businessMEN on a power high, looking for ways to make more money and connections, or the career politicians I’ve mentioned, or other irritating people who want to get involved in that weird little world because they want to feel important”
Nowadays 90% career polititians, plus 9% who have barely worked a day in their life for a company not reliant on state subsidies or monopoly for their daily bread.
They then have the absurd notion that people in non state subsidized companies generally exist to rip people off to make their greasy profits, with economic outlook aligned to that “basic fact”.
How about, the “government” just leaves us all alone, lets us spend our money as we see fit, and contribute to which projects, services and charities we see fit ? I don’t want politicians taking most of my money now, borrowing even more, then wasting it – and then coming back in a few years time to take even more (of the money I had earlier saved, invested and grown) to pay back the exploded interest on the debt for the money that they borrowed that I didnt even want them to in the first place.
Many western governments have built up such huge levels of debt that they will be paying them off for the next hundred years (or defaulting on them). As such it is the next two generations who will be paying off the money (at heavy cost to their own lifestyles), or dealing with the inability to borrow (due to previous defaults), and yet they never even voted for the spending policies, nor benefited from the wasted spending, that is putting them into this situation. It’s like some weird kind of slavery actually.
Btw your proposed solution would make no difference. Such a random collection of individuals with different view points would be unable to make broad enough agreement to push many policies through (that would be great though). What would then happen is that they’d gradually align into two main “parties”, and people voting for their representatives would, instead of having to know all their candidates opinions on everything that they cared about, just vote for the “party” candidate they thought best of. You’d be right back where you started. Two main parties, each roughly on either side of a “central point” attempting to gain power so they can push their policies through.
Interesting points. Thanks for your comment!