Politics in this country is a bit of a farce. Hardly a day goes by without some sector of the seething electorate angrily burning tyres and throwing bits of masonry or excrement to demonstrate their unhappiness with the performance of their elected officials. Fair enough, but the problem arises when the very same unhappy protesters vote the very same underperformers back into office despite their obvious inability to do the job properly. Somehow, the dots remain unconnected. It’s almost as if the entire country goes on a massive tequila bender immediately prior to an election. Sadly, the hangover lasts for five years.
It’s vaguely reminiscent of one of those reality shows where the losers are always utterly shocked to discover that the other competitors are motivated by self-interest. I’d be happier if we dropped all pretence and simply ran the elections like a sadistic weekly talent show. I’m no expert on constitutional law, but I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to fit the existing framework to a media-friendly format.
I envisage a stage full of hopefuls, each having to demonstrate their political prowess to the audience (and viewers at home) via a series of humiliating tasks. Next, they would be strapped to a polygraph and have to face a gauntlet of disdainful journalists. People tuning in could text their vote to the studio, stipulating the voltage setting on the electro-shock machine for each untrue answer given:
“Oh come now Jacob, I think we both know that isn’t true”
“No, no, not the red buttonnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaarrgh!!!!!”
In the final elimination round, the participants would have to bid on the salary they would accept, with the lowest offer securing the portfolio in question.
It may not be democracy in its strictest form, but I firmly believe this is what people would want.