A politician who jumps up at any opportunity and makes a name for himself by grandstanding and coming up with new laws and opinions every other day is not one who has the interests of his electorate at heart. Such a person is only interested in themselves and the sound of their own voice. They tend to be more interested in promoting themselves so that they can climb the greasy pole upwards.
Such people are actually the worst politicians as they tendnot to have any skill or aptitude for the job. Witness any politician who gets into a ministerial role and immediately finds themselves out of depth and making mistakes left right and centre. One politician famously admitted that they had no training to run a department of thousands of people when installed as a minister. MPs must have had some managerial experience or should get the training when they become MPs.
But being able to manage is not the only prerequisite for the job of an MP. They also need life experience. Having a parliament made up of a wide variety of experiences is a good thing as it ensures that a lot of different backgrounds provide input into the debates. Currently our parliament is made of up a high proportion of lawyers and academics with a smattering of other types which does not provide for a balanced debate. That’s not to say that a 21 year old can’t be an MP, but generally MPs should be of middle age.
Now I should qualify the ‘does nothing’ aspect of the job of a politician. I don’t mean that they sit on their arse all day drinking and smoking and looking at porn. What it actually means is that they just get on with the job. They don’t need to announce to all and sundry that they are doing ‘x’ or ‘y’. 90% of people don’t give a fig what their politician does or who they are, so long as they look after them when they have a problem.
Most of the time the electorate don’t care who their MP is. Only if there is a problem and they need someone to badger some officious authority will they use their MP as a figurative battering ram. Only then does the MP need to show that they are good at their job. An MP who doesn’t interact with their electorate is not an MP, just a loud mouthed egotistical show off.
An MP should be talking with their electorate in what ever way works best to get feedback, be it twitter, facebook, blogs, or face to face. Also, they should understand that those who shout loudest aren’t necessarily those in the majority. One aspect of British society is that of keeping quiet and and not making a fuss unless really provoked so the majority are more likely to be the silent majority. Those who are shouting the loudest are most likely to be lobbyists. An MP should be able to see past those who are lobbying them and check what their hidden agenda really is.
An MP is elected to represent the interests of their electorate in parliament and use the power given to them on their election. Parliament is part of our democracy and is where MPs debate issues surrounding British society. Sometimes the results of these debates are new laws. MPs are expected to look into these new laws and ensure that they are implemented in a fair and proportionate way and that no minority is unfairly penalised. They should be able to look into the laws in a dispassionate manner so that mob rule doesn’t take over and that hard cases don’t end up making bad laws. Being a lawyer does help but also being able think in a logical manner also helps so it could be argued that computer programmers would make ideal politicians.
If in doubt the best thing that they should be doing is asking whether or not a new law is really necessary. Most of the time existing laws can cover what seems to be a novel and new situation. Human society might seem to have changed dramatically since our caveman times, but in reality there is very little difference in how society works. Yes, there have been loads of new high tech invented in the 20th century, but a lot of the time all they do is help us interact as we are social animals or give us pleasure in some form or other.
So new laws are only needed in very rare cases. This is the minimal state, one which does as little as possible. So you can now see why the perfect MP is one who does nothing.