10 November 2008

Poor politicians

I'm feeling quite sorry for politicians today. Usually of course they get very little sympathy from me, especially the ones I dislike or don't agree with. But I've noticed several things in the last few days that politicians aren't allowed to say/do, whereas in any other job they'd be perfectly permissible.

  • Agreeing with someone not in your own party and/or having the same idea as them, or accepting their idea is a good one. This is instantly labelled as 'jumping on the bandwagon' and used to criticise the relevant person. What's wrong with saying "why yes you're right, we should do that"? They should be pleased that the country is being run the way they want it to, not say the government is bandwagonning (not a word, I know). Isn't it in the nation's best interests for the best ideas to be adopted, regardless of their party of origin? Or are ideas only correct when they're contrary to what the opposing party wants?
  • Changing your mind. This is always called "making a u-turn" and is usually the subject of stupid headlines on stupid newspapers, and articles about government climb-downs or cavings in. Don't we all change our mind sometimes? And if a convincing argument is presented against what you've decided, surely it's right that you accept it, not soldier on regardless, letting a wrong decision become further and further entrenched.
  • Saying you don't know. I'm not sure when we started presuming omniscience in our politicians, but they don't seem to be allowed to say "I don't know" or (better) "I don't know, but I'll happily find out". Instead they have to guff their way out of it, or make something up, or dodge the question.
So anyway, I'd quite like to see a politician who listened to alternative ideas, adopted them when they are convincingly argued as being superior to their own, isn't afraid to change their mind if new evidence comes to light, and isn't afraid to admit they don't know everything.

I'd vote for them. They sound far more rational than most politicians.

No comments: