The word politics is dirty.

It is associated with everything that is unscrupulous.

Exclusivity, corruption, trickery, ugliness and vindictiveness.

Politics is a telltale sign of a lack of consensus.

There is too much politics, too little progress.

It is time for countries to be run more like a modern enterprise with purpose, values, principles and vision taking centre stage.

Systematic Thinking, Big Business and Inclusive Growth working together.

A clear direction of travel reduces risk, uncertainty and fear of missing out.

Once this is in place, each organisation, community and region can articulate their own smaller scale version to encourage self-sufficient decision-making i.e. devolution.

Going global to national to regional to local.  

Some information may understandably be classified but there is no reason to be secretive about ambition.

There is ample of opportunity for governments to create more clarity for its citizens, businesses and strategic partners.

This is what strategy on an industrial scale is all about.

For politics to clean up its reputation, the political process must become more professional.

As Professor Alan Ryan highlights in his book ‘On Politics: A History of Political Thought From Herodotus to the Present’, politicians must operate in the wider public interest according to a defensible purpose, values and principles owing constituents their intelligence, judgement and leadership.

Not blind obedience to the spur-of-the-moment.

Politicians are employed to serve our well-being which, in plain language, translates to delivering a sustainable future for us all underpinned by norms, diversity and inclusivity.  

A return to Productive Debates rather than a War of Ideas.

Political effectiveness is about consulting more widely to legislate more intelligently.

An organised process of experimentation brings to light a variety of perspectives that any individual, committee or party may overlook.

That is how to get ahead.

A high level of cohesion mixed with healthy challenge leads to high performance.

To revert to vision, standalone stories around increases or decreases in taxation, better infrastructure or more hospitals no longer cut the mustard.

Stakeholders demand insight into how these details align with the broader narrative that matters.

In the meantime, ‘Return on Taxation’ calculations expressed in numbers helps track a government’s investment performance over time.

Like corporates, short-termism could rear its ugly head here to appease stakeholders with seemingly quick win initiatives.

However, this aspect is risk mitigated with transparency around longer term cost avoidance metrics.

If there is trust in efficient allocation of funds, people are more willing to contribute to the improvement of conditions to enable people to earn their due.

We do not take short cuts with our livelihoods, community or environment.

It could happen to us, but it also impacts us.

As part of this drive to increase financial transparency, discretionary v non-discretionary expenditure becomes clearer too with a better picture of what it costs to set a person up for success throughout his or her lifetime.

Politics must become more productive.

Whilst keeping an eye on human rights, privacy laws and equality among other freedoms.

We are in this together.

A regular strategic health check, leveraging independent surveys, helps determine whether a community, region or country remains on track with their 20|20 vision.

The problem often is that governments generally have legislative, judicial and executive arms to do stuff yet lack an independent consultative body to get things done.

A platform to exchange thoughts, discuss ideas or solve problems within their own country, between countries or at a global level.

At a national level, a government could engage a royal family or representative council for private, discreet or off-the-record conversations to potentially provide invaluable consultation, not decision-making, services.  

At a local level, a diverse assembly of ‘Active Citizens’ comprising 6-8 members selected on expertise, experience and reliability creates an opportunity to do something similar.

A common interest, affinity and objectivity are crucial to its success.

This assembly’s recommendations could also feed into a regular 360-type performance review to better track, analyse and act on leadership competence.

To give politicians the appropriate theoretical & practical skills for statecraft, a Masters of Political Administration (MPA) represents a worthwhile consideration too.

All ideas to better understand, guide and act on the ‘General Will’ of the people:

  • Vision
  • Return on Taxation figures
  • Country Performance Index
  • Active Citizen Assembly
  • 360 Performance Review
  • Masters of Political Administration

Referendums are generally not deemed to be a good substitute to establish the ‘General Will’ of the people as we do not have the time, insight or expertise to arrive at a decision.

Politicians are appointed to do this work for us.

A referendum is not unlike a Chief Executive of a large multi-national directly asking its workforce to ratify its strategy without following due process.

Having said that, there is significant merit in this.

Not only to find a way to navigate an apparent stalemate but also to improve information flow, release any pent-up energy and drive overall engagement.    

Cumbersome, nonetheless.

As Professor Alan Ryan further notes, if the ‘General Will’ is to be taken by a referendum, the first part produces an answer to the question at hand whereas the second part answers the question whether the people are happy with the result.

Unanimity is achieved at the second step, not the first step.

The book ‘On Politics’ goes on to share that it is an inalienable right and duty of every generation to imagine its own future, rebuild its institutions as it chooses and review its country’s constitution vis-à-vis others to progress the human experience.

Political history indicates that there always is a founding moment when the new order is laid down, just as there is a similar occasion where a state is rescued by returning to its first principles in a revolutionary re-constitution.

Each country must have the appropriate checks and balances in place without causing complete inertia.

Conflicting interests makes politics necessary, whereas common interests makes politics possible.

Consensus based decision-making.

If all else fails, there is a fundamental law or golden rule which says, ‘do as you would be done by, and do not do as you would not be done by’.

This to square the circle.

Or to avoid pointless misery.

We have tried hard to break the system.

Now let’s fix it.

Get More Information


Share this :