Monday, October 4, 2010

Need for a 4th arm of government

[response to Andre Joyal at nCategory Cafe]

There isn’t a problem with democracy. The problem is this: The facts are going to influence policy, and that is going to determine who makes money and who doesn’t. This always results in a morass of conflicting claims about the facts. Parliament is not a good place to debate the facts. It is the right place to debate the policy implications of the facts. Democracy needs an independent, vigorous, ongoing, open enquiry into the facts for all matters impacting public policy. That enquiry needs to have the power to acquire evidence, and the financial resources to do its own investigations. The leading investigators need to be seen to have the technical skills to do the job (in particular mathematical skills) plus the right amount of status (like a Judge), independence, and the right personality to stand up to the most powerful people and organizations. Hmm, not easy to find such people. Particularly because it is important that people and organizations who have been associated with promulgating or even condoning statements intended to be misleading need to be excluded from taking up the investigators time, and that process has to also be open. Still it doesn’t sound a lot harder than being an important Judge.