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Yawn, politics again…

To be successful in a democracy, a politician needs to please the most people. The key to pleasing folk is to discover what they actually want.

So just ask them:

If someone could help you achieve it, what would you most want to do?

Obviously it needs to be asked to a lot of people, and a cross-section of society (a good excuse to find new ways of conducting surveys that aren’t biased towards bored people with landline phones). I figure this particular question works best if people are given time to ponder it.

You can guarantee that in the resulting answers there will be indicators as to what people really want from life. And then, within reason, give it to them.

Examples:

People want to experience foreign lands, but can’t afford it. Create a working holiday exchange program.

People want to open their own cafe. Create a TAFE course designed to guide them, but also save them from making costly mistakes.

People want to quit their minimum wage job and work on their art. Create a universal wage system.

People want to quit their minimum wage job and spend more time looking after their disadvantaged family member or friend. Create a universal wage system.

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As we have seen in the USA, if the majority of a democratic country doesn’t have the skills, intellect or education to understand the issues and what candidates truly offer… you get Trump.

I suggest that an improvement in political education is possible, if you get the right educators on board.

Most people interested enough in politics to spend a lot of time on it are on the intellectual side of things, or at least they are good at debating cleverly. They are not generally suited to educating the working class.. But some will be… we need to find them, train them, fund them and send them across the land.

Bipartisan won’t work, and most people hate being preached to on politics.

The solution is lively debates between experts in their field from opposing political parties and independents. I would expect a minimum of the two major parties plus one other, and preferably the two major parties plus a 3rd party and an independent or 4th party.

Critically, the debaters must make their arguments easily understood by common people. Those that are good at this might find they have a place in politics, from a background of expertise, with a ready fan base.

Each debate (on a new and different topic) should be held in a regional city or outer suburb of a major city. And of course made available online. After a month of online discussion and submissions from other interested parties, a repeat debate should occur in the original venue.

The ultimate goal is to get people interested in politics who otherwise would have shied away because they didn’t feel equipped to understand it all.

 

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Regarding the Asylum seeker impasse, what a shame we don’t already have a third body to help sort things. We have a cabinet and a shadow cabinet – neither of which usually have members with any skills or experience, pre-politics, to match their portfolios. I dream of a People’s Cabinet, democratically elected outside of the electoral system, staffed by men and women with genuine skills and experience. People outside of politics, with no allegiances. People who could come up with sensible solutions while our elected representatives play at smug gamesmanship.

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