There’s a depressing piece at Conservative Home by Tim Montgomery summarising results of a YouGov survey about the British population’s thoughts about their politicians and political system. One of the interesting findings is this:
38% agree that Britain would be governed better if our politicians got out of the way, and instead our ministers were non-political experts who knew how to run large organisations – only 43% disagree
Read this together with this:
38% think their local MP is doing a good job, only 5% a bad job
Here then is surely a case for greater separation of powers?
Essentially the skills of governing and representing are different, and this has been long acknowledged in most European political systems, where ministers and state secretaries need not be members of parliament while they are in government. This most extreme case of this is Mario Monti’s government of technocrats in Italy at the moment. Still of course contingent on a majority in Parliament (where the parties still play their games), the government has strong popularity ratings (as The Economist reports). More of my thinking about how this could work in the UK can be found in a 2008 blog post here. Someone like Andrew Lansley might be good at representing the people of South Cambridgeshire but in government trying to sort out the NHS bill… hmmm.