Listening to Isabel Hardman et al on BBC R4 Start the Week, getting lots of: “individual politicians and the parties are (generally) good and valuable for their aims and purposes – despite the title of her book – but that there’s lots wrong with the machinery and processes, that need to be changed …. by that machine”. That’s evolution folks.
Here we’re talking constituency & national arrangements, yesterday (and everywhere else) we’re talking national & EU arrangements, but it’s the same issue. How to respond to something that’s broken. Throw the baby out with the bathwater, or fix it with the tool that’s broken?
Same solution from me – the “scrutiny” of systemic issues and problems, and the analysis and creativity needed to draft proposed improvements that can be implemented through the ongoing buzzing, booming confusion of day to day operations. It’s a ship of Theseus. It needs to be delegated to a standing cross-party “constitutional convention”. Not the same people who will have to vote on the motions and amendments and answer to their constituencies and parties. It will have an ongoing task list of issues and ideas being worked on continuously, delegated to specialists where appropriate, but the convention convenes periodically, say twice a year / 8 or 10 times per electoral cycle. (See previous post.) The proposals of the convention are made to legislative voting members through existing party and committee arrangements – but they’ve already been drafted by expert analysis and dedicated effort. It’s not a second level of committee bureaucracy, those remain focussed on issues by topics in their remit. The convention is focussed on cross-topic meta-issues that apply to the system itself.