Brave New Europe posted a blog from Heiner Flassbeck yesterday in which he argued:
[T]here is much that needs to be rethought and redesigned at the beginning of this critical decade. But no political minds are on offer that could explain to the population and to businesses what is really at stake. Clichés are no longer enough. The political minds that would be independent and clever enough to take on this enormous communication task do not exist, because they have no chance of survival in our parties. Party-political democracy is at an end, with no alternative in sight. Beyond all the concrete political tasks, this is where the greatest challenge lies: how can a system be designed in which those with the best minds get involved in politics and not just those whose ego is so big that they believe they can do anything?
It’s an idea worth discussing.
I have no immediate answer, unless we move to a position where the government is appointed in US style and is held to account by, but is not necessarily drawn from, the ranks of parliamentarians.
Gordon Brown claimed to try this, of course: the result was the failed attempt to deliver a GOAT (government of all the talents) that left Digby Jones in the House of Lords.
Norway, at least, does such a thing. Ministers there can be drawn from outside parliament. And they do not get a sinecure for life as a result.
Is it worth thinking about?