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tartare
9th Jun 2016, 10:49
This post started as - cardonnay in hand - and no that wasn't a spelling mistake - I despair at the absolute bollocks of the Australian election campaign, the nightmare of the US campaign, and Brexit.
Politicians are now powerless.
They are enthralled to big banks, business and lobbyists. Any significant meaningful change away from a centre right agenda is just not tenable.
Something really is fundamentally broken.
Let me ask you this - would something like a New Deal have been able to be passed in this era?
Can any truly transformative political agenda succeed?
I'm not a socialist by any means - I'm a capitalist.
But what the hell is going on???!!!
When Alan Greenspan says he got it wrong...

Argonautical
9th Jun 2016, 11:29
I would also say they are also inthralled to "social media". Nothing controversial in the UK gets passed if "social media" is against it, so as you say, any movement away from the centre left here will fail. We now seem to governed through social media referendums.

Gertrude the Wombat
9th Jun 2016, 11:30
The political system in liberal democracies does tend to be designed so that no one person has enough power to screw anything up dramatically by imposing his daft ideas.


This does tend to mean that quite often the entire political system doesn't seem to have enough power to actually reach a decision and get anything done.


Which maybe leaves a gap through which more agile and less accountable organisations can sneak (or even rampage).


Other systems have been tried, and have been generally considered worse. The only one I've heard general support for is the "benevolent dictatorship", where you've got one guy in charge, and what he says goes, and he always gets things right for the general good. Trouble is, everyone I've heard promote this system thinks that they are uniquely qualified to be the benevolent dictator ...

er340790
9th Jun 2016, 11:33
It's OK. I was so sick of pop-up ads and commercials that I recently ditched my mobile phone and cable TV. :ok:

Try it - you will save a fortune and be much happier too. ;)

Stanwell
9th Jun 2016, 12:19
Well said, Prophead.
That's the reason why I consider a certain Australian-born media proprietor to be one of the more dangerous people around.
Someone who claimed to be close to him once said .."He's not interested in power, only money".
Yeah, right.

Um... lifting...
9th Jun 2016, 13:13
Tomorrow Never Dies was a template, not merely a Bond fillum.

hiflymk3
9th Jun 2016, 15:17
Of course politicians are powerless. It's those who hold the purse strings also pull the strings attached to the politicians.

Add to that, as MacMillan said the JFK, "Events dear boy, events."

ORAC
9th Jun 2016, 15:38
Useless, yes; powerless, unfortunately no.

John Marsh
9th Jun 2016, 16:12
Prophead:
It is not the politicians that are becoming powerless but the public. We are gradually being made more and more compliant and our powers slowly eroded. It is not big business that is to blame but the media.There's truth in this, but ultimately we the people still do have the option to elevate posterior from sofa and disengage from the wall-mounted hypnotist!
The media is so powerful now it can control the way whole populations think. Instead of the media giving us what we want we are conditioned to like what we are given.You have spotted this. Others can too.:ok:

We do still have the 'final say' on the issues of the day; why else should politicians be so well trained in avoiding direct answers and in fudging issues?

The many lower levels of the pyramid serve to hold the apex in position. If they should elect not to do so...

I take the view that we thusly 'elect' much more often than we think. Every time a new policy is ushered/rushed in, and we acquiesce, perhaps with some grumbling... that's a vote.

Lonewolf_50
9th Jun 2016, 16:46
From my observations on this side of the pond, the vast majority of public office holders, due to the expense of making an election run, are more or less bought and paid for already before they are sworn in to their office.

Sue VÍtements
9th Jun 2016, 16:54
Hard to argue that point really

rab-k
9th Jun 2016, 17:01
Are politicians now powerless?

One can but live in hope...

Gertrude the Wombat
9th Jun 2016, 18:55
From my observations on this side of the pond, the vast majority of public office holders, due to the expense of making an election run, are more or less bought and paid for already before they are sworn in to their office.
Something to be said for a nasty commie system in which the market is suppressed and you're actually not allowed to spend more than a few hundred pounds getting elected as a councillor then?

galaxy flyer
10th Jun 2016, 04:30
First thing, take away the pols power--they have no business in 80% of what they do now--health care, economic regulation, sin taxes and sin laws, occupational licensing where a clear public safety case can be made, my retirement. Reduce US taxation to about 10% of GDP from about 35% now.

Then, strangled the remaining scum in Congress.

GF

CoodaShooda
10th Jun 2016, 06:18
Any significant meaningful change away from a centre right agenda is just not tenable.

Then how do you explain the current state of education, the direction of the climate change debate and the large numbers who receive more in government handouts than they pay in taxes?

tartare
10th Jun 2016, 11:50
Cooda - not quite sure what you mean?
The current state of education (tertiary) in most OECD nations is parlous - its user pays for Gods sake.
Our kids graduate with hundreds of thousands in debt.
What do you mean by the climate change debate?
And benefits are being slashed across the board.
The point I am trying to make seems to be the argument you are making.
In order to be even remotely successful as a politician today you cannot challenge neoliberal thinking.
Right and left are the same.
The GFC has shown us that capitalism is facing a fundamental crisis.
And I speak as someone who identifies as centre right.
Politicians cannot influence any meaningful change, because the electorate knows that any radical or truly inventive solution (such as a universal basic income - God forgive me for even mentioning it) can't even be debated.

ShyTorque
10th Jun 2016, 12:01
It's all down to this:

https://youtu.be/I8P80A8vy9I

CoodaShooda
10th Jun 2016, 12:36
tartare

You made the assumption that Centre Right prevails.

I offer the counter that the Education curriculum has evolved along leftist principles to the point where Freedom of Speech is only permitted if you agree with the listener, contrary ideas are proscribed, political correctness is the new dogma and being anti-bullying means living the LGBTI lifestyle.......just for starters.

Why do year 11 girls think that sexual harassment in the workforce is a major issue when they've never worked?

Do you believe the Right or the Greens are responsible for the carpetbagging attached to the Climate Change industry?

How many handouts have been "slashed" and how many attempted savings measures blocked? It hardly looks like the Right prevailing upon the Left.

From what I've seen over the past 50 years, the Left sure seems to be in the ascendant, at least as far as effecting change goes

wiggy
10th Jun 2016, 13:37
Cooda

You made the assumption that Centre Right prevails.

I offer the counter...

IMHO I think the problem we all suffer from is that the left and right meet at the extremes and then to their victims..sorry, the average man and woman in the street, they become impossible to tell apart.

As for the question of are politicians now powerless? Perhaps not, but the real worry is they might be being steered by their conversations with groups like this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilderberg_Group

I think the world is getting closer and closer to the one depicted in Rollerball....

MG23
10th Jun 2016, 19:25
IMHO I think the problem we all suffer from is that the left and right meet at the extremes

That's just a myth made up by the left so they can claim that Hitler was 'far right' and Stalin was 'far left'(*) even though they had far more in common with each other than either did with Ron Paul. If Obama suddenly implemented Hitler's economic policies, the left would be happy, and the right would be calling him a communist.

(*) Well, except the lefties who now claim that Stalin was 'far right', anyway.

The Flying Pram
10th Jun 2016, 19:47
Are politicians now powerless?Real power lies in the hands of the real-life "Sir Humphreys". The majority of politicians appear incapable of seeking information themselves, relying on what is fed to them by the Civil Service, and assorted "advisers". Once vested interests have these parasites on board the rest is history...