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Interesting Links for 2-6-2011
Illuminati
andrewducker

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.

The problem is separating 'merit' from 'because they did something for the government of the day and said government thinks they'll votes for them'.

While I can see the arguments in favour of against their will, it would be an unacceptable violation of those peoples rights (which you probably know/agree with, thus the smiley).

Given the nature of the second chamber, I'd imagine that people standing to be Lords would primarily sell themselves on their expertise, so in theory that should at least partly solve that.

I suppose selections based on merit could be decided by peer review... And... I just had a horrible flash of any university department ever trying to decide which of their faculty members would be the best candidate for anything, and the viscious political infighting that might occur.

Yeah, this really isn't a good idea at all. :)

And yep, it would be an unnacceptable violation, no way to make it work in the real world. But, I do think the desire to be a politician ought to be a good enough reason to never vote for that person. But I'm with much of the country, in having become so terribly deeply cynical about all politicians.

See, I think most politicians go into politics wanting to help people, and most of those still strongly want to help people throughout their time as MPs. I think it's more what the system does that changes what they do to get that.

Firstly, the broad churches that FPTP creates forces a high level of compromise onto them – in order to get thing X that they want, they have to put up with thing Y that they think is suboptimal or downright negative (but not as negative as they thing X is positive).

Secondly a lot of it is how public perception views them through the way the media shows them. Everyone calls politicians lying bastards. It's 'cause they'll talk round a question and not answer it directly, and try and polish turds. But if they don't do that, when they do go "Yes, it's a turd", we rip them apart for it, therefore there is very little incentive for them to admit that it's a turd. To a degree I do think we get the politicians we deserve...

the broad churches that FPTP creates forces a high level of compromise onto them

Coalition parliaments also find themselves making the same compromises. This can be good, or this can be dysfunctional... and I don't think that depends upon electoral systems, but rather reflects how human behaviour works in aggregate.

-- Steve looks to the Knesset as an example of how this can turn pathelogical even without FPTP.

I do think the desire to be a politician ought to be a good enough reason to never vote for that person.

That really is daft. Being a politician is a lot of hard, long and mostly thankless work. If you're going to do it at all well, you have to actually want to do it. The idea that you would get better job performance out of someone who doesn't want to do the job is silly, and something no one would say about any other sort of job. I mean, I dare say there are problems with software that arise from the fact that software is developed by the kinds of people that want to be software developers, but that doesn't mean you'd get better software by replacing them all with people who don't want to be software developers.

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