Friday, 7 May 2010

PR - Why don't politicians like it?

At last weeks hustings one of the arguments given for not having PR was that PR might allow minority parties like the BNP into parliament.  The other was that with PR we would not have strong government.  What arrogance of the politicians.  They obviously think that they know best.

Of course, we need strong government - it was strong government that gave us the poll tax, the Iraq war, and all number of other unpopular policies.  And as for the BNP - whilst I hold no truck with them or their policies - if we claim to live in a democracy and people vote for them then they deserve representation.  What both of these arguments show is a contempt for the idea of democracy - the people don't know what they are doing and we politicians should sort it out for them.

There is also a confusion between strength and speed.  So much of management these days is about speed - how quickly can a decision be made - and so little about making the right decision.  I recall at work recognising that making a quick decision and making it work was more highly valued than making the right decision.  Why do we think that speed is so important?  Particularly when it comes to law making?  Surely a law which has been discussed and agreed by parties representing more than 50% of the electorate has a greater chance of gaining the support of the people and of being obeyed and lasting than one which is imposed against the will of a significant proportion of the people.

I am writing this before the result of the election is known, so it may be that things are about to change - but it will lead to a very different kind of politics which may well need a very different kind of politician; one who knows how to negotiate and work out what is best for the long term needs of the country rather than one who knows how to force through what they want NOW.

1 comment:

  1. And you were right to home in on something which is now very much an issue.
    Great post.



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