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December 17, 2010

Comments

Autonomous Mind

You are right that we do not have rational policy making. But then, we do not have representative democracy either.

We have electoral dictatorship where the party leaders control matters and whips cajole and bully the backbenchers into towing the line, regardless of what constituents want. Kitchen cabinet has been replaced by sofa cabinet, where Cameron and Hilton decide what will come to pass and their minions are sent out to make it so in the House.

This is why on issues of substance no amount of marching, peaceful protest, petitions, lobbying, writing letters to MPs etc, makes any difference. The only view that matters is the one in Number 10. Very few MPs have the conviction to speak up because most have their eyes fixed on promotion to ministerial and shadow positions.

Just to underline the self serving instinct of these lying charlatans, amidst all the challenges facing this country, what matters most to them is how to neuter IPSA and line their pockets to the max.

Niklas Smith

A very interesting post. Would more direct democracy lead to rational decisionmaking?

The general good government of Switzerland and the Western US states that are especially keen on direct democracy might argue for, but the way that referenda have been used to trash state finances in California and elsewhere might argue against. What do you think?

Interestingly, most people support either lightly or strictly regulated (i.e. legal) access to narcotics. Only a minority support prohibition. Which makes the near blanket opposition of the political and media establishment all the more strange. See this poll written up here: http://ldv.org.uk/20886

Links to full results here: http://lddpr.org.uk/news/000020/poll_commissioned_by_lddpr_demonstrates_public_are_ready_for_drugs_discussion.html

Laban

"Decriminalizing drugs would confer small benefits onto lots of people - less crime."

What we don't know - the "known unknown" - is what the unintended consequences would be of legalisation. As Shuggy points out today, there are a lot of people who either don't know anyone who deals or avoid drugs because they fear a conviction (could be a career-killer in one or two professions - obviously not the law, as witness Ken MacDonald the last DPP) - or have concerns about what they'd be buying.

http://modies.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-stupid-is-war-on-drugs.html

It would IMHO be a mistake to conclude that if drugs were legal, exactly the same people as before would continue to take them, British American Tobacco would make more money, and all the criminals making so much dosh now would settle down quietly and invest in BAT shares.

Keith

Chris,

would you consider some form of term limit system for the uk as a way to increase policy debate?

If office holders are limited in time and so do not need to adopt insincere public positions for career reasons there might be better representatives and better policy.

Could the widespread use of drugs by Journalists and politicians be a reason for limited debate? Maybe they are all feeling guilty and being hypocitical. Like all those Gay / womanising drug taking tax avoiding fire and brimstone preachers the USA is full of?

Dont do as I do but do as I say?

Eoin Clarke

We have one of the shoddiest forms of democracy. Some MPs have been elected with as little as 11,000 votes. We do not vote on our Queen, our PM, our Chancellor etc etc... Frankly, the illusion that AV could fix it is laughable, although we do need to start somewhere I guess....

Sean

Out of small acorns grow oak trees.

Lets start with the ballot box, lets take any party reference from the ballot paper, around the ballot station, no canvassers or pickets of any kind. No leaflets delivered to homes 14 days before the polling day, and ones before that banned also from carrying party references in any form.

Nothing except you knowing the name of the person you are electing, maybe then we will start to get a better quality of MP.

At the moment we have a system where idiots can easily get more idiots to vote for them.

And while we are at it £20 a vote going to fund the Mps party you have voted for.

Nonymouse

"You don’t get to have both power and freedom of speech."

Ken Clarke didn't get the memo.

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