Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Techno techno techno

Alix Mortimer rightly bemoans the quantity of idiots in parliament, but it should be obvious why there are so many of them: the political skills required to get selected then elected are nothing like the skills required to be a top-class legislator.

Ideally, legislators should have a sharp eye for detail, excellent reading comprehension skills, an excellent grasp of statistics, an understanding of history and political philosophy and a set of novel personal background experiences to bring to the table.

In contrast, parliamentary electees must convince 35,000 skeptics to give them a job, through awareness-raising campaigning, doorstepping, local problem solving, successful media interviews and appearances, and being able to recall and reframe the main planks of their party's brand identity at will.

These two skill groups are so different it should really be a surprise that there are any smart people at all in parliament. And while the media insist that everyone's special and everyone's opinion is important, and while political parties are built on strong brand identities, and while the electoral process only allows one candidate of each political stripe to stand in each constituency, this will continue to be a problem.

What can be done to change things? STV would help a little, I think, because only the "best" tranche of each existing party's candidates would get elected, and would potentially allow smaller parties with more focussed branding to pick up 1st preference votes ("Smart Labour", anyone?).

I would really, really like to see all PPCs take an apolitical statistics and reading comprehension test, with their scores marked on the ballot paper next to their name. That way, voters can actually decide in a meaningful way whether they do want smarter politicians.

7 comments:

Adrian Windisch said...

Then you would get people good at tests as MPs. Which I suppose would be slightly better than the lot we have now.

But I thinks we need MPs who have experience as employers, team workers & volunteers. They should have applied for jobs and hired other people. Too many have very limited backgrounds, and are hopelessly out of their depth.

奕玲 said...
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文廷信豪 said...
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童紫勳 said...

時間就是靈魂的生命。......................................................

婉菁婉菁婉菁 said...
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向霖 said...

快樂與人生,是最好的伴侶 ..................................................

柏信豪俐 said...

每個人生命中都可能遇到貴人,這些貴人不一定真的尊貴,他可能是陌生人,也可能是你的敵人。........................................