View Full Version : Members of Parliament and Specialisms?
05-25-2008, 07:07 AM
I had a little bit of a debate on British MP's in the pub last night, and would be interested to see it here. The basic question we were looking at was:
Should an MP have experience of or qualification in any specialism which he/she is to represent in government? For example, should the Minister for Education come from an educational background, should the Chancellor come from an Economic background, and should the Minister for Trade & Industry come from an Industrial background?
In the UK government ministers jump between these various specialisms quite often, and while in theory they are supposed to make decisions based in civil servants recommendations, in reality, can they really fully comprehend how the particular specialism works, and therefore what the best decision may be???
Many MP's seem to have a law background. Makes sense, both professions are about arguing. Its also why they make terrible decisions on subjects like engineering.
The idea is that the minister acts as a judge and is not the originator of the ideas. The ideas come from civil servants and think tanks. Thus Gordon Browns policies did not originate with him but are those he chose to support. This role requires wisdom rather than intellectual brilliance. He must be able to see the implications of the policy in a wider context as well as it effects on the other MP's for political support.
Thus MP's know little about bio tech but they do have opinions on bio ethics. They have expert advisor's who will tell them the economic and medical benefits. They listen to both the pro and con arguments and reach a decision.
This is true in any upper management role. You cannot consider the detail. You have lots of bright young post grads doing the work, above them thier managers. Your only contact is the managers and thus you are deciding based on the stories that they tell you rather than true knowledge.
05-26-2008, 08:54 AM
On a general level, it should be an asset to know a thing or two about your area of responsibility in a parliament. This is not always possible, and to be honest, this is rarely an issue since getting thrown into parliament is nothing more than a popularity contest. Becoming a minister is even easier if you have friends in high places and you have nothing else going on at the time.
MPs and ministers these days don't care about anything. If and when a decision is made, it is a haphazard choice just to make it look as if you've done something. They enjoy fantastic "job" benefits and privileges for essentially making bad decisions which have the possibility of affecting everyone in their jurisdiction.
05-26-2008, 10:41 AM
Mmm. Tricky one, but I would say, no - experience not necessary. I've had quite a few dealings with MPs and Ministers, and find that by being apart from the system they can sometimes see more clearly. It's a case of "if you do what you've always done, you get what you always get". MPs can cut across this.
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