Article Index

2. Looking at new forms of representation

The argument for holistic political economy included an analysis of the limits to our current form of representative democracy. Therefore, ways of altering the ways in which people are included in politics need to be examined.

Sortition is a model that provides a way out of this (Reybrouck) – it is akin to jury service, which has a long, successful history. We can break long term corrupting relationships, increase participation (and so commitment) and get a wider range of non-ideological views represented.

We cannot use sortition for everything but as a supplement and support to a revitalised electoral system it surely has potential. A great place to start would be the management of all government agencies, and arms-length management organisations – it could grow from there building on success and lessons learned.

Rationale

We pride ourselves on the lack of corruption in our system, but the corruption we have comes in subtle and insidious ways. Anyone who had been told to upsell was made complicit in the PPI scandal, upselling is now just part of retail life.

Cronyism is rife, long-term professional political careers start with councillors who are paid enough in allowances to be full time and runs through the full gamut of interns, advisors and researchers. What this means is that that many politicians don’t have recent or relevant first-hand everyday experience. In addition politicians are able to build up the sort of relationships that used to be categorised as the old boy network but which are now reframed as networking. This has transmuted into the revolving door, conflicts of interest and a feeling of entitlement (Note; A Corrupted Culture)