Tuesday, 12 January 2016

How Can We Improve Democracy?

I'd rather live in a democratic country than in one where people have no say at all, however we all know it's an imperfect system. Perfection may be asking too much but we can always seek to make things better. Come election time we're presented with claims and counter claims and false promises, like the recent conservative one on inheritance tax made before the election and reneged on straight afterwards.

What I'd like to suggest is an independent academic review body which analyses the long term effects of the policies enacted by parties when they've been in power. It seems to me that here in the UK much policy is short term, if you've got five years in office and everyone starts building up for an election after four why would you consider the long term?

Short termism must be at least partially responsible for spending cuts to flood defences, which have led to greater expense and misery in the long term, and short termism could well have a lot to do with ignoring global warming. Gordon Brown's pension raid wasn't going to rebound on him in the short term and so on.

If political parties knew that the truth of the long term effects of their past policies and actions when in power would be brought to public attention by a body of independent academics from great Universities such as Oxford and Cambridge immediately prior to every election maybe they'd think about the future as something they're invested in too!

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