Friday, 22 May 2009

A 21st Century Parliament requires a 21st Technological Revolution

I am no fan of those that have used the expenses system for their own personal gain. And that includes all parties in parliament. Although, as with most press related campaigns there are incompatibilities that have forever tainted the work of fantastic MPs. These claims can never be removed and it is to the Telegraphs detriment that political journalism has made way for political point scoring and dilletant journalism. As I understand it, the Telegraph also has the information regarding MPs staffers (me being one) and their bank accounts. I hope that the Telegraph understands the implications of what they have done. Whilst those who have defrauded the public should face repercussions as should the civil servant who broke the most precious of democratic functions, that of the objective and annonymous civil servant.

But that is not the purpose of this blog. If expenses in parliament are currently the most noticed part of democracy, let us think of the repercussions. Creating a system of expenses that denies MPs the neccessity of expenses to ensure they can live day to day will mean that parliament will be full of individuals that can afford that lifestyle, thereby eroding the democratic value of equality of opportunity. This means that people can enter parliament regardless of wealth and ensure that they can fully represent their constituents without the worry of financial hardship.

But lets go beyond this to this question - do we need parliament? I am in no way suggesting that we get rid of parliamentary democracy. How about voting form wherever an MP is, using voice recognition and, just like businesses, utilise conference calling for committee meetings. This would ensure that expenses are kept at a minimum and would also ensure that MPs are closer to the people they serve. What does everybody think?

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