So much beauty out there

July 25, 2010

Should Elected Representatives Say What They Think?

A Cardiff Councillor, John Dixon, has recently been the subject of a mini scandal about a comment he made on twitter about the Church of Scientology, when walking past their office in London that he hoped “the stupid wouldn’t rub off”. Some time later, the Scientologists complained to the ombudsman in charge of standards in public office in Wales, who ruled that Dixon had broken the relevant code of conduct. For a full overview of the idiocy of the ombudsman’s ruling and the dangerous and pernicious nature of Scientology, I recommend the thorough analysis by Jack of Kent. The issues in this case seem pretty straightforward, Scientology deserves (at the very least) ridicule and no-one should face censure for doing so. (more…)


November 14, 2009

What we need are more MPs

Filed under: All,When I rule the world — Josh @ 6:05 pm
Tags: , ,

At a quick count there are 127 problems with the current British political system. But a couple of key problems are the significant disconnect between popular assessment of the worth of MPs and their own assessment, and an electoral system that renders a huge proportion of votes worthless and grossly over-represents the votes given to Labour and the Conservatives in the number of MPs they get.

I think both of these can be addressed fairly straightforwardly by splitting up the duties of MPs. Currently they have a dual role, both as those who draft and pass legislation and also as representatives of their constituencies. These roles don’t really mesh particularly well, either in terms of skills required or in terms of overlap of duties. MPs who may be very responsive to the complaints and issues of their constituents may not have the understanding and insight to be good at helping to create good legislation or at holding the executive to account. It also requires MPs to have a home in London (for practical reasons) and one in their constituencies (for political reasons) – one of the factors that have strongly contributed to recent expenses “scandals”. (more…)

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