To be introduced by John Greenwood.
People tend to make the tacit assumption that the only way to get better government is by getting a better party. The question is: What important improvements can be had without needing a party to promote it?
What we are looking for are single items of policy that could appeal to a majority of citizens regardless of party loyalties.
I want to explore the idea of “Proper Governance” in this context. The word “governance” seems to be cropping up in discussion and I have been doing a bit of pondering and have posted an outline of what I think “Proper Governance” is.
There are all sorts of governance models, for example the mutual society, the limited company, and state control. Different organisations work best with different models, there is no “one size fits all”. One feature that seems to be essential is effective critical oversight. So I would argue that the nationalised organisations failed because this was missing. Smaller limited companies and cooperatives do work because they have critical oversight from the shareholders in the former and the members in the latter. In both cases this oversight can lead to strong actions, like sacking the managers when they screw up.
The take home idea is that the only proper purpose of “privatization” is to acquire critical oversight. If a better means can be devised then there is no case passing control to shareholders who have no direct interest or experience of the organisation and will frequently be in a different country
We want to make idea of “Proper Governance” acceptable to people of all political persuasions. It has to be presented in such a way that the advantages are obvious to all and there are no grounds for suspicion. It is unfortunately true that people tend judge ideas by where they come from rather than their intrinsic merit. We need to consider how the idea is promoted, by whom and the language used. I have asked Evo to point out just how far words can acquire extra layers of meaning.