Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Elected Representatives

An MEP was banging on yesterday that cyclists should be registered, have a number plate, insurance and be forced to wear high vis jackets. Effectively she was wanting to tax and regulate cycling.

Regardless of the issue my argument with her was that it is not the job of an MEP, on a monster salary and expenses, to be banging on about this kind of thing. Maybe a local councillor possibly an MP but not an MEP in an ivory tower in Brussels.

Her justification for it was that constituents had been in touch with her about it. Big deal. My response was to ask if she would advocate the slaughter of the first born in every household if a few constituents contacted her in support of it. She didn't answer.

This seems to be the problem with politicians, they are so busy trying to please every interest group they piss everybody off. Elected representatives are representatives, they are not delegates. We vote for people we are in broad agreement with and each election we should look at what they have done and decide whether to vote for them again or not. I certainly wouldn't expect a Labour MP to vote for the nationalisation of the NHS, even if a thousand constituents lobbied him. The argument that elected representatives should do what those who shout the loudest want is wrong headed and dangerous. Especially when it goes against the representatives core beliefs.

I suppose with Euro elections coming up MEPs will suddenly become high profile media whores as they become ever more desperate to maintain their places on the gravy train. I for one will be using my democratic freedom to spoil my ballot paper.


Daz Pearce said...

Democracy in its purest form is mob rule and nothing more noble than that.

Tragically, too many people are too stupid to realise that governments of all persuasions use panics and temporary majority views to further an authoritarian agenda.

The only solution is a mix of democratic and anti-democratic elements, most notably a written constitution and bill of rights.

Will this happen in our lifetime? Apologies for the gloomy outlook, but since this requires people to engage their brains it's unlikely.

Gregg said...

Written constitution and a bill of rights? Totally meaningless.

Daz Pearce said...

Agree to disagree, I think anything that extends beyond temporary populism is worth doing...