Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Patching the gap in our democracy: Economic term limits

There is a recurring weakness in our democracy. Permission to rule for a limited time has become replaced with a mandate to rule the future through debt, and to reward current politicians at everyone's future expense.

For example Labour were never elected with a mandate to sell us all into debt.

So what is to stop a political party in power from destroying the future for most of us, without letting us know they will do it at the time they seek a mandate ?

My answer is to limit mandates to govern by temporal and economic limits.

Every party will need to make a forecast for the governments debt, as measured by an independent body, over the years it intend to govern. If the actual debt varies by say 25% then that governments temporal mandate is limited to 6 months from that point - still leaving it some room to manoeuvre. This would allow for government to continue in exceptional circumstances, but force a government which is carrying out the scotched earth policy that this one is to seek a mandate to do so.

1 comment:

Womble On Tour said...

Hmm, interesting idea. I guess that in theory this is what Parliament is for - to kick out the Executive if it (the Exec) has made a complete mess of everything. In practice, given the power of the party political system, Parliament cannot do its job in that way. So the identification of independently measured Critical Success (or Failure) Factors is an attractive idea.