Well, we don’t have much to go on as voters when it comes to ‘actuals’ on a politician’s promises or indeed record in office. It’s true that politics geeks do like a good trawl of a voting record but how many folk have the time, knowledge of process or even interest to do that? Media have a role of course but the front page story above shows, it’s a pretty pointless exercise after votes have been cast!
What could we do to help voters?
First principles, make it easy for voters. If politicians truly want an empowered electorate we must help them to make robust democratic choices, to support them or their party, by convincing them instead of ‘fooling them long enough’ with flashy soundbites and personality politics, to cast their vote.
To do this, effort must be expended to allow voters to base our decisions on evidence rather than just promises we can’t easily track the delivery of.
How do we know how politicians are actually doing?
Most people don’t but we could change that, starting with transparency. Look at how other ‘industries’ manage to track employee delivery.
Most employees have some sort of appraisal at annual review to see who is:
- ‘on track’
- overachieving and candidate for promotion
- Underachieving and in need of training etc.
- failing for other reasons
So why don’t we do this for politicians? Their decisions impact our society so surely their tracking is critical to us all?
Why don’t our politicians have to provide a ‘report card’ when elected, to measure progress against their stated objectives and election promises?
At every new election a CV should be provided of a politician’s background, experience and views on / voting intentions on key issues! Parties must have this information for their internal vetting so why is it not available to politicians prospective employers: the electorate?
Is it just because no one has asked them to before? Good politicians who deliver have a lot to gain from such accessible transparency after all.
Next part: Perception in politics can make or break you