Career Politicians?

#1
Is it right that an individual sghould be allowed to become an elected representative at 18 years of age, when she/he may have absolutely no real knowledge of life (the universe and everything) and how actually living in society is done.

I fear that the increasing number of full time politicians who have no real life experience outside the H-o-Cs will significantly weaken our political structure. People like Cameron and Milliband have no clue about the pressures of daily work and it is therefore no wonder that they are so far removed from us.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#2
Is it right that some people who are given the vote are clearly too stupid not to realise an 18 year is not the ideal choice?

Democracy. It aint great, but its the best idea so far....
 
#3
And the wheel turns. Some time ago, the complaint was that politicians had too many outside interests and couldn't devote their time to being representatives. Now it's the career politician who works for the party in some form or the other (paid or unpaid) and then gets nominated for a seat because of who he/she knows.
Does being an actress for most of her life make Glenda Jackson a better politician?
 
#4
And the wheel turns. Some time ago, the complaint was that politicians had too many outside interests and couldn't devote their time to being representatives. Now it's the career politician who works for the party in some form or the other (paid or unpaid) and then gets nominated for a seat because of who he/she knows.
Does being an actress for most of her life make Glenda Jackson a better politician?
A better politician (interesting concept) but seriously yes it probably does as she bring some life experiences with her into politics, as well as direct knowledge of both an industry and culture that has little other representation in politics. Personally I don't like her opinions but that adds colour to our parliament, rather than it being bland and dull.
 
#6
Well I'm going to create a party called DDUK - Direct Democracy UK.

Like in Switzerland, when the government feels that it is time for a change of some sort, they do a referendum and let the population decide on the outcome.

That is the fairest way of doing a government.

Unfortunately we're stuck with a liberal democracy with a small group of people making the decisions that they "believe" the public would want.
 
#7
Well I'm going to create a party called DDUK - Direct Democracy UK.

Like in Switzerland, when the government feels that it is time for a change of some sort, they do a referendum and let the population decide on the outcome.

That is the fairest way of doing a government.

Unfortunately we're stuck with a liberal democracy with a small group of people making the decisions that they "believe" the public would want.
I agree with you and would add after your "want - and that they consider to be capable of being dressed up like something new" (when it probably is not.
 
#9
And yeah I agree with your thread. Politicians need life experience. OK so they got a degree in PPE from Oxbridge, but that doesn't tell them how to run a country. It's a good degree, and gives them a good insight into how running a country works on paper but I gather that it is somewhat different in the big wide world.

Not sure whether I should be the one to say that, I can't say that I have had enough life experience to make that claim.
 
#11
or if you're experience of being a politician was being a politician.

most junior MP's dont get senior positions on committees etc not because they dont have life experience (which many do) but because they dont yet understand how government works yet.
 
#12
Well I'm going to create a party called DDUK - Direct Democracy UK.

Like in Switzerland, when the government feels that it is time for a change of some sort, they do a referendum and let the population decide on the outcome.

That is the fairest way of doing a government.

Unfortunately we're stuck with a liberal democracy with a small group of people making the decisions that they "believe" the public would want.
No, that would be a crap way of running the country, and it isn't how it works in Switzerland.

So tell me, what experience or specialist knowledge do you have that would make you're vote on a specific issue, say economics, defence strategy, criminology, education or transport infrastructure worth bothering with?

There you go, same as me - none.

Low information voters who cast their votes based on ignorance, greed, predjudice and what they last read in the paper are a curse at the best of time, let alone on single issues.

We elect leaders on a broad mandate to sort things out for us, and when they stuff it up we kick them out five years later.

That's how it works, it's the least bad system available.
 
#13
so is being a politician the only profession where the more experience of the trade you have then the worse you are at it?
Not necessarily (although it does seem to give an increased likelihood of indolence, corruption or other damaging vices. Pace Mandelscum, Kinnocks various and most of the Tory back-benchers in 1997.)

But it is one where, as with Micawber's comment about subject area knowledge, having no knowledge of what we laughingly refer to as "the real world" is a very bad thing. Even the trade unionists now seem to have be life-long apparatchiks rather than having once been horny-handed sons (or daughters) of toil.
 
#14
so is being a politician the only profession where the more experience of the trade you have then the worse you are at it?
I would say a resounding 'yes' to that. Politicians aren't supposed to know how government works - that's the job of the Civil Service.

Politicians are supposed to know how the country works and come up with ideas of how to make it work better. If we have to have them at all - if the populace can't be trusted en masse to make effective decisions on the specifics - then they should be the good at their bit on the job.
 
T

trowel

Guest
#15
I would say a resounding 'yes' to that. Politicians aren't supposed to know how government works - that's the job of the Civil Service.

Politicians are supposed to know how the country works and come up with ideas of how to make it work better. If we have to have them at all - if the populace can't be trusted en masse to make effective decisions on the specifics - then they should be the good at their bit on the job.
We get the politicians that the money men decide will be good for them. The Plebs are mere ballot box fodder.
 
#16
It isn't professional politicians that are a problem, it's one side or the other being in power too long or with too large a mandate. Parties that have to cling on to power tend to keep their politicians in line and very quickly prune the deadwood.

The trouble with the last Labour Government was that they had such an overwhelming mandate they believed they could do anything. IT was unheard of for a disgraced former minister to be given a second chance, let alone a third or fourth! Likewise the preceding Tory Government had been in power so long that corruption set in, they really thought they were bulletproof.

It is just as possible for a career politician to be an outstanding leader (Churchill was, to all intents and purposes, a career politician and one who had been brought up to be one).

Turkeys don't vote for Christmas and the electorate vote for those they think will give them the most. The country realised that Labour had cleaned the pot so knew it needed a few years of scrimping. BY giving the Tory's such a narrow margin the country ensured that the Tory's would be tempered and constrained by their coalition partners. Labour have promised that they will be more free with money but never be as bad as the last Parliament. Of course they'll be as bad, if not worse because they're a party born out of wanting more, born out of envy. The Tory's at least learned service at Eton and Harrow. The whole ethos of being a toff was to serve by leading.

There are more MPs at the moment who have experience of life but they haven't had to fight their way into politics, half the women are there because they were born women and Labour wanted women in Parliament. I would like to see more people who have had to outshine others to get to be where they are and I'd also like to see it made a lot easier to get rid of the deadwood.
 
#17
No, that would be a crap way of running the country, and it isn't how it works in Switzerland.

So tell me, what experience or specialist knowledge do you have that would make you're vote on a specific issue, say economics, defence strategy, criminology, education or transport infrastructure worth bothering with?

There you go, same as me - none.

Low information voters who cast their votes based on ignorance, greed, predjudice and what they last read in the paper are a curse at the best of time, let alone on single issues.

We elect leaders on a broad mandate to sort things out for us, and when they stuff it up we kick them out five years later.

That's how it works, it's the least bad system available.
Direct Democracy is the fairest method of running a country because the people do all have a say.

Switzerland does, like the UK, have a political system in which they elect leaders on a broad mandate to sort things out for them, but then they do referendums on anything with the people.

Though I should say that Direct Democracy could not, probably never, apply to the UK. It wouldn't work with our population of 62 million, it can only work with a significantly small population (like Switzerlands 8 million). And of course, refering to your point, you would need a clever population with a much higher average IQ than that of UK, which Switzerland has.
 
#18
It dont matter what age a polie is, you can get a chimp to vote the right way for the Party if you stick a cattle prod up its chuffer enough times in the division lobbies, thats how government works, win the argument and win the vote, after that it tuck in chaps its all free till next election.
 
#19
Is it right that an individual sghould be allowed to become an elected representative at 18 years of age, when she/he may have absolutely no real knowledge of life (the universe and everything) and how actually living in society is done.

I fear that the increasing number of full time politicians who have no real life experience outside the H-o-Cs will significantly weaken our political structure. People like Cameron and Milliband have no clue about the pressures of daily work and it is therefore no wonder that they are so far removed from us.
Interesting,what do you consider real life experience?

Google Cameron,worked for Carlton Communications for 7 years before entering politics,Osbourne worked for Selfridges,but Milliband I will concur is ******* clueless,and when he looses his rag,he's also got eyes like 'Feathers McGraw' the phantom penguin! :muhaha:
 
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