Politicians Work For You ~ The Evidence
It’s often claimed that politicians are out of touch or otherwise irrelevant to their electorate. The website ‘They Work For You’ is one way in which this claim can be examined, at least for Members of the UK Parliament. But can MPs ever meet all the demands put upon them, and what else do we need to know?
Perhaps the idea that ‘politics is irrelevant’ is actually a ploy, consciously or not, for people to avoid the difficult questions which the political process poses for us all.
Do we actually know what we want from politics? The They Work For You website is one way in which we can all engage; it follows the issues raised by individual Members of Parliament (and others) at Westminster and elsewhere.
What do we want to know?
But obviously numbers of questions asked in decision-making assemblies are by no means the only thing we would like to know about the political process. There are many other important aspects of political work as well.
Some MPs have active websites, some do not. Some meet with their constituents regularly, some probably less often. Some have a schedule of discussions with their local authorities, others make contact less systematically. But all are open to scrutiny by the media and the public.
All things to all (wo)men?
So how should MPs respond to the mis/perception that politics is meaningless? Should they leaflet constituents all the time (green issues here, volunteer delivery energy levels apart?), should they talk to the media (spin?), should they consciously ask questions in Parliament in the knowledge that They Work For You will report these (skewing activity for coverage?), should they do something else?
What would make people think politics has meaning? What would provide public assurance that all politicians are not ‘in it for themselves’?
Or don’t we want to answer these questions, for fear that then we’d have to take responsibility ourselves for what’s happening around us?