Thursday, 13 May 2010

A quick update

So, we've finally got a Government, one which I'm broadly supportive of, although it'll have vast problems to face up to over the next year.

I'll be writing my own evaluation of the various campaigns over the weekend and early next week time allowing, but in the interim Tim Montgomerie of Conservative Home has written an excellent piece on the Conservative campaign. It appears in a couple of different places but the best I've seen is the one in the Guardian.

One thing worth considering for the future is that the new Government will have to work a lot harder to carry the public with it on tough decisions and the campaign can teach them a great deal.

What won't be possible, or acceptable, is for the Government to act unilaterally without at least opening a dialogue with people. I honestly believe that the brutual but necessary cuts can be explained to the majority of people. They'll still gripe, but I think most will understand that the choice is between a bankcrupt nation, or hard times.

I hope that in this spirit there is a greater move for Government openness, and a more American style campaigning approach to legislation, building a consensus amongst the public as well as Parliament.

E-democracy is still in its infancy, but our Government should seek to embrace it actively. Putting as much data as possible online, and allowing its use by members of the public if they so wish. I hope that a revised Freedom of Information act is considered, including some of these precepts. The data must be honest, because one fudged statistic will doom forever any chance perception that this is a new politics.

I hope that this Government, so different from what has come before, can effect a cultural change across our Civil Service and indeed our whole Government apperatus. I think its unlikely, the intertia of these institutions is immense beyond belief, but it can be done by a Prime Minister and Executive willing to stand up to career civil servants.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for the moment.

I'll be attending Personal Democracy Forum's General Election 2010 Action Replay event (quite a mouthful, the technical term is PDF GE2010 Action Replay, slightly easier). There will be live coverage of the event here. I'll be doing some sort of writeup afterwards.

I may also soon be setting up one of these new fangled 'twitter' things people keep talking about. I hear they're getting popular.
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