Friday, October 03, 2008

The Democracy Debate

Michael Heseltine's defence of Boris Johnson on yesterday's Question Time was a reminder of how good the old lion could be at the top of his form. Heseltine was always a supporter of directly elected mayors, on the grounds that it reinvigorated local democracy, and his endorsement of Johnson - his successor as MP in Henley - was on democratic grounds. Johnson has the mandate of the people of London, thus he is perfectly entitled to exercise that mandate over unelected officials who should still be accountable in some way. You could see Johnson's move as a narrowing of the democratic deficit by that argument. Heseltine also made a throwaway suggestion of directly elected police chiefs - a democratic step too far, or the right move to sharpen the instincts of our public servants?

3 comments:

ben ross said...

The idea of allowing any old idiot to have a say in who is the head of met frightens the hell out of me.

consultant said...

Yeah, and what about all these unelected judges going around telling us what to do?

You can't defend the indefensible, but nice try, on both your and Heseltine's parts.

R said...

why should the people of london be able to vote in the head of the met. what a totally farcical idea, The politically apathatic have no wish for numerous ellections on issues which quite frankly they have no right to vote on. If people had to vote on every senior posistion of power, Referendums would become a joke and propaganda would be rife, why not let those informed make the decission? that way it is more likely that the best person for the job will be sellected, rather than the person whose policies mystify those who are politcially unaware.