Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Apathy in politics

There is a lot of apathy regarding politics. There are some who are openly hostile to politicians. How did we get to this position? Partly it is because the vast majority of votes do not elect anyone. There are clear majorities that are not affected by one vote or ten, or in general elections majorities are often in the thousands.

Once in power, there are some politicians who abuse that power. Some MPs work within guidelines for their benefit and do not see the wrong they are doing because guidelines say it is acceptable. Sometimes the policies that get governments elected are not the policies that are followed. Apathy also arises from the confrontational design of government. It comes from the watering down of powers at lower levels of government. The more power that is centralised, the less power goes to the electorate.

There are many other reasons for apathy, but having looked at the negative aspects of politics I want to finish with a strong positive. the vast majority of politicians go into politics for all the right reasons. They are honourable people who want to make a difference. Experience may change some of them.

What are the answers. Change the electoral system. Make votes count. Allow meaningful representation at lower levels of government. Avoid political conflict and allow government by consensus. Make government transparent. If the public are informed they can make informed judgement. Successive governments have avoided change knowing that the pendulum would swing back to them. Well the pendulum has nearly stopped. It is time for a change.

Change the world.

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