Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stop Horsetrade: Abolish Parliament

The Problem:
In short, this is what happened: The British People voted for MPs to represent them, these representatives choose Tony Blair as their Prime Minister who decided that it would be wise to hug Colonel Gaddafi. As a result, Great Brittain was protected from terrorism, Sami al-Saadi and his family were thrown in jail and tortured, and Shell signed a gas exploration deal for 850 million USD. All under the watchful eye of the people's representatives in Parliament. And now we should be surprised that Mr. Sami al-Saadi does not trust the Gibson Inquiry, a panel set up by the prime minister...

As explained in previous posts, parliament's task is to make laws, approve the budget and control the government. In this post, the control function is reviewed and as proven by the story above, parliament is not doing very well. Daily parliaments are asking questions to the Cabinets of this world, but party politics and horse trading decides the tone of the debate and the outcome of most interpellations. 
Even parliamentary inquiries are rarely credible because real or potential conflicts of interest are rarely even acknowledged: How can a parliamentary inquiry credibly deliberate the News of the World phone hacking scandal if their re-election is dependent on media coverage? How can a parliamentary investigation credibly establish whether the Belgian child molester Dutroux was protected by "people in high places"?

Power corrupts, power without parliamentary control corrupts absolutely. As a result, sacrificing a political dissident and his family for a lucrative corporate deal seems to become an acceptable course of action.'


The Solution:
Simple: Abolish Parliament. I know that we have already abolished parliament in a previous blog, but this time it is just to confirm that for the control function we do not need to keep parliament. 
To replace parliament's control function, all policy deliberation and implementation should be public and open to participation by voters. (Well actually, former voters because we have abolished voting, remember?) The right to interpellation will be extended to all citizens by allowing them to post their question on the government interpellation website. Any question that receives a like or +1 from say 1% of the citizens, will need to be answered by cabinet (or whatever we will replace it with once we have abolished the cabinet too.)
Parliamentary investigations are just abolished without replacement. 
A host of independent audits, commissions and experts can be established to strengthen the control function but they can be called on by any citizen and they report to the people. 


The Transition:
Any decent representative of the people in parliament should start this process NOW. Nothing stops parliamentarians or congresspersons from having a blog where people can debate what questions should be asked to check the government.