Category Archives: Representative Democracy

Putin didn’t steal much. We just left the doors open and went on holiday.

I’ve just published this:

“There is a direct link between [the failure of representative democracy] and the degree to which plebiscitary democracy is seen as being an acceptable option. The popularity of referendums is a symptom more than it is the cause of our current problems.”

It’s here:

On mandated MPs

In this post, from 2007, I forecast that New Labour were in danger of begetting the current catastrophe. The article also predicted that the Lib-Dems would probably not go into coalition with Labour (and why), and readers may want to note the identity of the nightmare ‘back seat driver‘ that a mandated parliamentary party would be forced to take direction from….

Labour, Syria and the problem with mandates…

I posted this over on Slugger O’Toole earlier.

Here’s a pull-quote:

When some of us, back in August, said “putting Corbyn in charge of the Labour Party is like filling an ‘unleaded’ car with diesel”, this is what we meant. It actually won’t work. We weren’t trying to talk those voters out of something sensible. We were saying “this is bound to end in tears.”

Winning elections is a lot harder than you think

Peace in our time

Sometimes short-term popularity isn’t a good thing.

… and the benefits of doing so are much bigger than a lot of commentators seem to realise.

When I say (in the previous post here) that a politician, or a political party can get away with backing a particular cause – my convictions on Trout Dipping, for example – as long as it enjoys ‘a reasonable level of support’, I mean that Trout Dipping needs to have enough of an attraction to allow a political party to include it their manifesto in a way that wouldn’t damage their chances of winning an election.

Sure, they can adopt one or two points of conviction. The public understand that, sometimes, politicians have to make ‘tough choices’ and that Neville Chamberlain’s popularity in 1938 provides us all with an object lesson. Continue reading