Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Politics should be dirty if if can't be civil.

The market in favours and earmarks is essential to getting policy in place in a contrary world. Without predictable signals based on self-interest, there's no rule book to get obstinate people signing off on legislation. Saints, or even reasonable and civil people, can work things out, but in their absence, a little corruption is the right lubricant.  As the editor of Slate writes:
David Plotz, Slate.
"Excessive hygiene is rampant in Washington. ... If politics is the art of compromise, we have a huge number of elected officials who are not politicians at all but rather zealots animated by ideology".    And referring to the US: "Some political systems, such as the incorruptible and efficient Scandinavian ones, can thrive without “dirty hands.” But ours can’t."
I hate corruption but, David Plotz may be right. "Bullying, retaliation, back-scratching --Chris Christie was on to something".   And again, "Having renounced Satan and all his works, Christie has given up his ability to kneecap and to bribe".

Creative bribery is a little stymied in Canada because the head of the ruling party and the prime minister and the person who can veto your run for parliament are the same person.   There's less negotiation and more party line voting than in the US.  (Think of Michael Chong's bill.).  I'd rather more negotiation.

I've commented before that politicians should be able to get rich and famous for doing the right thing. Instead of a hidden and corrupt rule book, have an open and appealing rule book that advances good policy while making pols rich.  Double pay for MPs every year the budget is balanced.  (Your idea here).

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