Saturday, 6 August 2011

Rage against the politicians.

I am not by nature a person quick to anger. I am for the most part I believe reasonably, well... reasonable. Recently however I have witnessed some of the most blatantly irresponsible and self-centred actions of my entire life. I am not against personal irresponsibility - it is our right to be able to screw up our own life however we want - what I take exception to however is irresponsibility with power. We are not entitled to screw up other peoples lives.

Recently politicians have had a great deal more power over international affairs than they are used to. There have been several problems relating to the global financial crisis that have require governments to step in to protect people outside of their electoral. This is not easy, there is rarely an easy solution to these kinds of global problems. However this is the time for politicians to do the right thing, they have scope to act out of the bounds to which they are accountable, they should take the rights of the rest of the world seriously and act with respect applicable to this level of power. What they should not do is squabble about petty short term and nationalistic goals and the furthering of their career.
There is a counter argument that I'm sure supporters of this kind of politics would attempt to use. It follows: Politicians are elected to serve the people that voted for them and uphold their beliefs and act their combined will. If the population is very nationalistic and believes their country is an island unto itself then it is right for it's politicians to behave this way. This is a very naive argument. It makes many assumptions, such as it assumes that politicians have the ability to extract some form of perfect consensus from the population. my view of politicians is more pragmatic, I would say that it is incredibly difficult and impractical to ascertain a good approximation of the population's opinion and in several cases a bad idea to use that opinion to govern. Modern government is incredibly complicated and it would be impossible for an average person to solve any of the big issues with a high degree of success armed with only some shallow knowledge and an opinion. The politicians job is to provide options, they in theory should state the general direction they wish to take a country and get elected based on whether people agree with that direction. It is not their job to be liked by the nation it is their job to make the nation better.

To take the recent American debt ceiling debates as an example of the how politics should not be done. There were three groups to this argument: the democrats, republicans and members of the tea party movement. To start with the most extreme of these groups the tea party. These people are delusional extremists no better than terrorists(admittedly they wielded economic weapons instead of physical ones, but think about the suicide rate if they had managed to let America default.) I will perhaps defend this position at a later date. The remaining two parties each have differing views on how to solve the problem which I will not try and explain or choose a favourite, however they have both failed in one key aspect. They are playing the game to be liked and refusing to make tough necessary decisions. They played a game of refusing to compromise(some more than others) and then as a deal NEEDED to be made the best they could do was postpone until another politically divisive date. This may have harmed more than careers, and all it would of taken is for a key figure to say this is bigger than me, this is bigger than America, we cannot survive without the rest of the world maybe we shouldn't say we would be happy to toss them of a cliff in order to look strong.

This is the first of hopefully many posts. It is not well written but has let me vent.

Thanks for reading!

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