Taking the Party out of Politics
The Blunders of Our Governments
BLUNDERS: things which went wrong, which were foreseeable, but which the government did anyway.
A very strong executive (government) makes it possible for policies to get rushed into place, without proper checks or thinking.
No consensus + No consultation = Ineffective policies
Behavioural causes of BLUNDERS:
- Lack of judgement.
- Lack of appropriate/relevant experience
- No rewards or sanctions
- Over confidence
- Cultural Gap: don't understand voters
Structural causes of BLUNDERS:
- Poorly designed decision-making processes.
- Deficit of deliberation – too efficient & decisive; scrutiny disempowered.
- Operational disconnect. Professional politicians haven't run anything. No long-term responsibility
Parliament – becomes a bit of an irrelevant spectator.
- Whips ensure that Parliament is not able to rein in this behaviour.
- Scrutiny committees are disempowered by party loyalties, and by ministers either pressuring their fellow party members or simply bypassing the scrutiny process – and sometimes parliament itself – altogether.
- Public accounts committee (actually one of the most useful bits of what Westminster does) only checks on activity after the fact.
All of that does not add up to a recipe for good government.