Government by the people

In the midst of the UK’s MP expenses scandal – and as Gordon Brown’s government teeters, with nudges over the edge from The Guardian itself – the paper asked its columnists and then its readers to reform, even reinvent government. The results are in and are fascinating.

Tom Clark’s writeup in today’s paper service is quick to point out that this is a survey of Guardian readers with their baggage in their left hands. But that makes it even more surprising that, for example, 70% say they do not support demographic quotas as a means to configure Parliament. They want to change voting and the structure of Parliament and they want a constitution. May I recommend a First Amendment?

What’s exciting about this is that it turns the usual discourse around, shifting from complaining about government to doing something about it, taking responsibility. After the destructive comes the constructive.

: Speaking of…. See also Kevin Anderson’s report from the Deutsche Welle conference on the need for journalists to focus more on solutions than problems. More here.

: And see Lloyd Shepard’s tweet: “sheesh. when voting is a process of elimination, you know democracy’s in trouble. this is how people end up supporting arsenal”

  • Abott

    … ‘reform the government’ (??)

    Hardly a new or untested concept over the last 1000 years. “Throw the Bums Out” is certainly a constant refrain in modern Anglo-American elections, as government scandals routinely emerge.

    The Brits can have our Constitution, as our Potomac Princes seem quite glad to rule without it.

    Perhaps the overall government ‘problem’ is well beyond mere tinkering with ink-stained documents ?