Thursday, 21 January 2010

What's more important? Who governs us or how we are governed?

The background political noise is increasing as the parties sharpen their claws for the General Election. The date for this is probably going to be May 6th but, as is the nature of the beast, events could affect this. For example, today an improvement in employment figures caused a frisson of excitement as an indicator of an upturn in the economy. This immediately lead to speculation that Gordon might go for an earlier date. Time, and events, will tell.

So far, the parties are all talking about what they will do and what their opponents aren't going to do. In short, the usual knockabout politics we would expect them to indulge in. What we are not getting is anyone raising questions about HOW we are governed. With the decline in participation in the democratic process by large numbers (not far short of a majority), no-one seems to be saying "is the way we are governed the best way for our times and the issues which face us?" I'm not convinced that it is. The first-past-the-post system has been around a long time and needs revising. Some sort of proportional representation would be a better way of electing those who govern us. What happened to all the recommendations made by Roy Jenkins many years ago? Who in the major parties is brave enough to put this on the serious political agenda? Who in the major parties is brave enough to suggest completing the process of reforming the House of Lords? In other words, working towards an elected second chamber. The answer to both these questions is 'no-one'. Too many vested interests in maintaining the status quo. I could very easily get depressed about all this but life's too short!

No comments: