In a conversation over snacks, a colleague commented that our current political system is flawed. He suggested some remedies. Among them were having a constitutional review every x years so that the constitution can keep up with the times, requiring that a winning candidate has a minimum percentage of the votes from his constituency by conducting a multi-stage polling process, having a performance review of every candidate once a year etc. I remained unimpressed. An analogy might help here. Consider a pipe that transports an extremely corrosive gas. Because of the corrosive nature of the gas, the pipe develops frequent leaks. One could try to repair the pipe constantly or one could ask why one is dealing with such a corrosive gas in the first place. The remedies my colleague suggests are analogous to the former approach. They can push and delay the inevitable, but cannot change its nature. Our political system is flawed – fundamentally. It tries to achieve that which cannot be achieved. The only techniques it understands are threats and coercion. But men cannot function when they are coerced. Every human activity from the formulation of a purpose to the production of values to achieve it requires the exercise of a free mind. A system designed to enable coercion (read my earlier posts on the constitution) is fundamentally flawed. It cannot be repaired by making the coercion more “efficient”.
Posted on April 11, 2009 by K. M.