The Non-Populism Delusion

Wiki:- A factor traditionally held to diminish the value of “Populism” as a category has been that, as Margaret Canovan notes in her 1981 study Populism, Populists rarely call themselves “Populists” and usually reject the term when it is applied to them.

So, it is Populist if we didn’t agree with it, and anything described as Populist that I voted for is incorrectly described.   Sounds familiar?

The real common thread that the label of #Populism often causes people to miss, is that of perceived modern democratic deficit, that of a need of better democracy, or rather one that acts as it should and sees the public in the correct way.  This is a growing requirement all the time and is now starting to make a significant change to national elections and views.  Politicians views do not gel with public requirements.  They live in a world where they are exposed to the public enough for people to be able to get a very good view of their philosophies and their psychologies.  We have reached a tipping point where the old politicians rules of avoidance and denial can be seen as not understanding their place as public employees.  Sure, the media try to trip them up, but when the questions are valid and the answers not, it becomes a problem.

The problem is that 1st we need to separate the term into its 2 parts: Being popular/more favoured purely in terms of votes received; and something akin to a craze or trend.
In the 2nd case, if something is a trend or craze, that means that it is explained without needing individual reasoning or argument. If something is popular, it is popular for a reason which we look to identify, but if it is populist, then we are saying that its somewhat without reason apart from just what everyone else is doing. So when we say something is populist, we can mean that it is without any reason or argument that can be made, except trend, but maybe we could mean that it is a little popular too, in which case there may have been some reason why it was popular. Basically, whatever is heavily voted for, whether it wins or loses, is going to be popular, but we don’t say populist, so we really mean the populist end of the popular/populist scope of populist.

It’s rather final as a term, because it allows us to believe that it has little logic driving its behaviour.

Then if the choice with logic isn’t that choice, its likely to be the opposite choice. So the very definition seems to add validity, wisdom, and balance to any opposing argument.

Anyone wishing to argue otherwise, is also arguing that your opinion isn’t the voice of reason that it so conveniently seemed to have become.

#Populism as we mean now, is a psychological trap, probably a sign of missing the real reason.
#Populism is a word allowing you to stroke your own ego. It often means that it had no valid reason except pure fashion, so i picked correctly.
#Populism is so psychologically convenient when not agreeing but of course sense prevailed when you do agree. either way, youre voice of reason!

I voted, but lost, but should have won.
Populism suggests no other real justification.
I voted but the populists won, I tried to save us, despite the illogical mob behaviour prevailing for no real reason, except that of hyping themselves up into a frenzy. if no reason, then i must have picked correctly. so it makes me correct by its use, correct and the voice moral reason despite the foolish masses.

It is a horrendously dangerous term, and causes any attempt to find reason have low expectations initially, and so the populists end up all being racist, or thick, or both, despite the fact that it’s probably not the case at all, and that one or 2 bad apples happened to tar a whole argument because you were already only looking to increase the power of your position by finding a worse reason than that of you original populism reason, which was bad enough in the first place.

What election results tell us

France

UK Referendum

USA Trump

In each case, the result shows people want change.  They want something other than what they see as a system that is only superficially dependent upon them, during elections, but the choices are “all the same”.  What people mean is that after elections, the people’s wishes are not in mirrored by their elected proxy, and it is really is far from what they see as democratic.  The public are a means to an end for most politicians.   They are useful as a tool when they want what the politician wants, to back up their argument, but for the most part are superfluous.

When the public are least likely to agree with a course of action, the more chance they wont be considered worth consulting.  The politicians know this, but don’t see it as necessary.

The public should be represented by their representative, in a way that mirrors how they would decide themselves.  It doesn’t require consultation necessarily always, if the politician does as they know they should really.

BUT, the public may not be able to choose without enough understanding in some cases,  is the argument that some MPs may offer.  In some cases this may be true, and can be fixed easily as you will see.    It also is rather a dangerous argument, as it may make the politician assume they know enough too easily,and become applied always afterwards to other situations.   What we need is a way for them to see what  the public who understand would decide.  It is often easy to assume if someone doesn’t agree that they aren’t up to speed, and so dismiss those that may understand better than yourself.

 

 

Buy British/American as the best start, but whats the best end?

As a start, if everybody particularly in these foreign deficit running countries just changed 1% of their shopping extra to buying their own nation’s product, then the result to their own pocket would be substantial. Less foreign deficit by a small amount can be enough to change the flow completely where it is running low, and hugely beneficial otherwise. This act of buying is amplified hugely, to the government, and the nation, and yourself ultimately, and quite effectively. As a basic rule, this is great.
At some point you run into a decision, when the choices are few. Do I buy from my own nations company, or a foreign, friendly company that supports our country maybe better. Maybe I buy British from a company that is listed on the stock exchange, and is based almost entirely abroad, where one or 2 directors may get too much money, that isn’t invested back into the nation, but just amassed, or spent abroad too, and all manufacture, and tax is paid abroad, ie the worst case scenario, or do I buy foreign, maybe a friendly country, that supports staff here or maybe pays tax here? Surely the 2nd alternative is better? You think about who spends more of their pay as opposed to saving, which is not necessarily good for a nation, especially where this saving accumulates over generations, here it is bad for government, and currency value, or is it? Where a country has sum total of double the currency in existence but at the same value, well, this provides a buffer, or rather a dependency on a currency being self stabilising over nasty events, even when hit hard, it will recover, okay harder to manipulate but not as hard as it should be, which is good for government. It has many advantages too, and in fact, the actual quantity of money unused to used, and its value, is important. We don’t want it to grow too much, sometimes quite the opposite, but it all depends upon others, and global normals and conditions and national currency and exchange needs and goals, depending on type of economy. Often, what we do has its context in that of others, but I digress.

Ultimately, there is a circular problem with exchange rates and cost of goods, as export and import and made and purchased domestically and not. Over the long-term, supporting self is self limiting, if still correct, as cost of goods and exchange rates change in favour of foreign, the harder you try, and this leads to further thinking, and a final position, which governments must adapt, a policy that is the only real policy to ensure a nation’s future, the best economic policy a national government could ever have, and must always adhere to, and it has nothing to do with how we started at all.
It is a policy that isn’t circular and self limiting in the way so many economic policies are when thought out.

The UK Un-Constitution fixing Government

How the act of deciding not to have a written constitution may solve the problems better

chbrain2“There was recently a definite movement towards something that has at the moment been named a written constitution”

“It seems that some feel a need for this thing”

“But what is it we actually need?”

“There are definite arguments against a written constitution as well as for”

“This hole that is wished filled, is for something, but a written constitution is not the answer to the problem.  What is the problem that some feel needs filling?  Is there a better solution.  One that looks at the problem at a different level, and so keeps our flexible system as is, yet provides more clarity and is felt more useful, more important, more relevant by the public and the government”

“No change at all to our constitution,  but a meta-constitution.  A definition of terms, such as government, democracy, MP, Minister, PM, Party, Public, Elected official etc.   A list of flaws, maybe even views of each from each others perspective.  No views considered wrong to start with.  An ideal direct pure democracy, as defined as everyone deciding directly in every matter, and the majority decision being followed.  But we have a practical democracy of elected proxies.  They are our trusted choices that we elect to do as we would wish, if we had the time to research every matter fully and had full knowledge of the matter we were voting upon and its implications.  They should do as we would, if we all could.  ”

“MPs should vote as their electorate would, if they all had full knowledge.  Now, sure, MPs shouldnt necessarily vote as their electorate see things, and their argument that they have to protect us from bad decisions is valid,  however, it is dangerous.  They should be voting as their electorate would wish if fully informed.  An attitude that they are there to decide for us, because we are incapable, is a problem.  The assumption that they are in full knowledge of the facts and their implications is maybe taken too quickly or easily when they see or believe they are ‘above’ their electorate.  It can lead to a belief that if they are better, they are fit to decide.  This may prevent them from seeing that they need to understand the problem and its implications properly.  It can lead to a kind of arrogance perhaps.”

“When people see their MPs voting in a way that is obviously not as a proxy for a fully informed public (ie. when the subject is more straightforward, so that more of the population see their decision is not as theirs would be),  then the public see this as a kind of arrogant abuse of their position as a servant, as a proxy, as a trusted representative, and often it seems as though their MP believes they are incapable of being in the position of one of many that is used to shape that MPs decision.  The MP is now on their own, their own proxy, and talk of an electorate is just that of convenience when it suits them.  This is a problem”

“I suppose I am conservative in my views, but here the problem looks worse most often.  One event is just that, one event, but several, slightly suspicious events, becomes a pattern.  Unfortunately every small thing adds up and paints a picture.  The last PM can give honours to his favourite dog walker if he wants, he’s done his part, and he tried, and it didn’t go his way, and well, I can kind of see he tried, and well, he felt he did his best, and now he is off, and so why not look after those close.  Then deciding staying to represent his constituents was what he wanted, even after being PM, but oh, no cabinet position for me? actually, im out of here.  One thing alone is nothing, but things add up, and tar all im afraid.  I can’t say those actions were a problem for him.  They were a problem for the party, because they were the honesty at the end, that lingers on and ends up adding to the conservative picture, that picture of how the world sees conservative MPs, as a mix of all the stories of all of them, averaged out.  I see real hope with our new MP,  I really do.  She is the once in a lifetime PM for me.  I really know she sees the world how I want her to, and I hear her saying what I was just thinking.   I just hope it doesn’t all collapse around impatience.  Theres so much she could do, that is so easy.   We do a lot, that people don’t know about.  We have so much good news we havent taken advantage of. Anyway, I digress…”

“So, back to the Meta-Constitution….   A statement of definitions, goals, roles, flaws, fairly expressed, all sides views are important, government need the tools, the ability to work better, more enjoyably, more efficiently.  This should address it all.  A statement of bounds, the ideal, where questions and decisions are worded unfairly, or good bundled with a little bad to get bad through.  The government actually do quite well digitally, and yet, there are small areas where it could all be made to shine that they just miss.  The PM really is sitting on gold.  You send a message to government and you know you may as well be deleting it instead and saving everyone the time of not reading it. They don’t want to read most the almost identical nonsense emails, i suppose.  It would be so easy to cut public emails down vastly, and have less to read, yet everybody get more out of the system.   As a software developer,  I can see several places where almost nothing would become everything.  Where it can all be put together.  God knows why it hasn’t.  And I digress again…..”

Shelved Constitution

You have shelved the written constitution.  I understand the thinking behind one but suggest it wasnt the answer, there is a better one.  I suggest we solve the real problem in a better easier way that is more effective and popular for you.

Better way and why

We need a contract, definition, or a statement of role, goals or purpose, and I will explain why this is what will fill that public need, and make you popular, but allow you more control.

The real way

A definition of our representative democracy, MP’s, government, and publics’ purpose and goals.
A definition of a democracy, a representative democracy, electorate’s, MP’s, and government minister and employees purpose, and maybe a discussion of real world flaws

Public problem with government

The real problem is that government still behaves as they did 100 years ago, as if they have the power over life and death of the public rather than as working on behalf of the public.
People understand what democracy is defined as, and see that is not what they are getting.  Their MPs don’t act as their proxies, even as a proxy for a public in full possession of the facts to decide correctly.  They consider themselves the last line of defence of the public choosing badly, which prevents introspection into their own lack of understanding.

How to not do it

MPs like Arlene Foster who put herself and her job above peace, and play chicken with NI.
Her fault or not, her job is to look after NI above all else.  She is not in employment court, yet she treats it like that.

 

 

James Cook

UKThinkTank.com