Saturday, 21 September 2013

How are we doing so far?

Now the grisly tedium of the party conference season has descended on us like a urine soaked blanket, it may be worth thinking about... oh I don't know... about systems of government?

Sadly, all political systems are corruptible because people are corruptible so institutions and systems are corruptible, however well designed.

Maybe our best defence against corruption is transparency – in many ways our only defence. Sound political systems are transparent simply because transparency allows feedback. Our present UK system may have numerous deficiencies but that wouldn’t matter too much if we had transparency. Unfortunately we don’t – we have complexity which reduces transparency.

Of course some political systems are prone to promote corruption while others are less prone, so systems can help – a necessary but insufficient condition one might say.

Anyone may easily compile their own list of basic standards for assessing any system of government, it isn't the slightest bit difficult. Here’s one I cooked up earlier after a good, solid thirty second think :-

A well-written constitution.
Constitutional safeguards.
Transparent government.
A fair and transparent tax system.
A plebiscite system for major issues.
Free speech.
Unbiased news media.
Strong local government.
Secure borders.
A well-educated electorate.

How are we doing so far?


Sackerson said...

Well, um, thinking about it is a start. Isn't it?

Demetrius said...

I only wish it was possible to find out.

A K Haart said...

Sackers - I've tried thinking but nobody listens. I don't pay that much attention myself.

Demetrius - I think we will.

Anonymous said...

"A written constitution", well written or otherwise, is an invitation to the lawyers. Take to the hills!

A K Haart said...

David - we've tried being without one - it's an invitation to the lawyers. Take to the hills!