Thursday, 28 April 2011

Electoral reform (Saw style)!

We are a week away from the day of reckoning on the Alternative Vote referendum but will it truly be an acceptable change if it goes through?  Nick Clegg once said that AV was a miserable little compromise compared with the other alternatives in the electoral reform debate.  In my opinion, I don’t think AV will make MPs more accountable, likable or more trustworthy so I have come up with a rather outlandish and controversial version of electoral reform that will ensure that MPs will actually do what’s best for their constituents rather than what’s best for their party or themselves.

I am a fan of the Saw film franchise and believe that we can learn a lot from Jigsaw’s philosophy, perhaps not his methods but I think we should go with something I believe would work.  Not only would this idea help get a truly representative set of MPs but it would help with our ever-growing population problem.

Prospective candidates for public office would be taken to a location with traps similar to the ones in the Saw films and they would be hooked up to portable lie detector machines.  The candidates would then have to go around our trap-laden location in which people from their constituency will be caught up in the middle of dilemmas that will result in their serious injury or death if the candidate is not willing to do what is necessary to rescue them at the expense of pain for themselves.  During the whole experience, the candidates would also be asked questions that would reveal their true intentions for running for office – self-interest or the public good – and, should they lie, the trap in the room will be triggered and the candidate will suffer the consequences in pain and mutilation.  By the end of the trial by fire, we will truly have representative MPs who will do what’s best for the country as a whole because it will be ingrained in their thinking due to the experience.  We’d also have hours of reality television programming to broadcast.  Just think of the money we could make on the DVD sales alone!

I want to play a game. 

You are seeking public office but are you prepared to do what is best for the people you represent or are you seeking only to benefit yourself?  Are you telling your constituents the truth when you say you wish to represent them for their benefit?

In the traps that lie ahead of you are members of your constituency.  Are you prepared to do what is necessary to save them, knowing that you will have to endure pain to do so?

You are also hooked up to a lie detector that will trigger the trap in the room in which you are standing and cause you pain through increasingly high electric shocks.  Are you prepared to tell the truth to save your constituent?

You have sixty minutes to prove your worthiness for public office.

Let the games begin!

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