What kind of people get into politics? Good question, but they really just separate down into two groups: those who are there to represent their residents and those who are there to represent their party. Unfortunately, those who represent their party massively outweigh those who represent their constituents, in most cases it is 90% who are just there as agents of the party. Being there for the party first doesn’t necessarily make you a broken person, but the system is guaranteed to break you.
Conservative Party: to be a member you have to pledge your undying loyalty to the cause of the party, to the complete and total disregard of the needs of the residents, the truth, or implementing effective government. You will be required to compromise every ethical standard you have ever held, and if you can’t agree to that then you will either quit or be forced out. As 2/3 of all the Conservative MPs have no connection with the area they represent, it is quite easy for them to make the moral compromises they need to make in the name of the party. After all they have no parents, siblings, other extended family, or even friends to help them and remind them of who they are and where they’ve come from. Increasingly, this is true at the lower level as well.
Labour Party: pretty much the same as the Conservatives, but you have to find a way to get past a throughly unelectable Prime Minister.
The others? Pretty much irrelevant unless the two main parties can manage to get it shockingly wrong and implode, which one can never underestimate…
So, what are the common factors amongst the people in the system who are primarily there to represent the party:
- Status, the primary reason you must have for compromising all you have ever believed in. Most of the people becoming councillors are incredibly unremarkable in background and accomplishment, and have no special talents. So the status of being a councilllor at any level is a major step up for them in relation to the worlds they come from. As a result, if you meet any of them they will usually introduce themselves as Councillor so-and-so… Operative word being “Councillor”…
- Money, you get paid. Only MPs get paid full time wages, but there is sufficient patronage dispersed by leaders at the lower levels to make it worthwhile at the lower levels. In real-world terms it’s lunch money, but there are all sorts of extras for committee chairmen, executive portfolio members, and other “special project” things.
- Deciding, you get to decide on things, important things… Sort of a cool thing, except in most of it there are pretty closely prescribed sets of criteria for reaching decisions on things like planning and licensing. And that is all about whether or not you are there to represent the party or not. If the party requires decisions that would shock any thinking breathing human, you just have to roll with it and try to figure out how to possibly generate plausible deniability for what you have done…
- Hanging out… You get to hang out and get your picture taken with the array of “bigger name” politicians. Now this adds considerably to your status, the number 1 reason why most of them are there. This builds delusions of grandeur which then has all sorts of other consequences.
1-eliminate the strong leader provision to allow incompetents to be removed with a vote of 15% of the members
2-term limits of 2 terms
3-electronic voting to allow full participation by the electorate
4-demand full consultation using technology of all county-wide issues
5-all representatives need to prove they have lived in the area they represent for 5 years or more