Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
ThatBritGuy:
All discussions, all personal, departmental, and relevant corporate financial records, all decisions and positions should be public.

Backroom deals should be banned.

And how would you enforce this? It would require a lot of people dedicated to watching these politicians/civil servants/decision-makers and a lot of sophisticated equipment to monitor them all the time. Oh, and at what level would you start?

And saying that a measure only harms those who "have something to hide" is an old authoritarian argument...

"People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them." - Jean Monnet

by Melanchthon on Fri Dec 3rd, 2010 at 12:06:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If a cabinet meeting decides X, but Y becomes policy instead then it's not hard to see that something has gone astray somewhere.

There's already plenty of discussion and debate about policy and politicians. It wouldn't need a Separate Public Oversight Committee with people in scary robes and fascist black leather - debate would happen naturally, just as it does already, but more so.

Why would that be a bad thing?

As for "having something to hide", the point is that pols notoriously do have things to hide - many, many things, which they would rather the public never found out about. The things they hide suck out democracy and public involvement from politics like the legislative equivalent of a black hole.

Do you think the FOIA legislation is authoritarian too? Or Finland's public financial disclosure laws? Is Wikileaks authoritarian for making diplomatic cables public?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 3rd, 2010 at 12:19:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
If a cabinet meeting decides X, but Y becomes policy instead then it's not hard to see that something has gone astray somewhere.

But, usually, backroom deals take place before meetings where decisions are made. So there would be no discrepancy between a decision made during the meeting and the policy implemented...

I am all in favour of FOIA, but you must notice that there is a period of time during which you cannot access the information/data. And Finland's law is limited to a certain type of information, whereas you would like to make public in real time "all the discussions and meetings".

What I am saying is this would require a STASI-like organisation. And who would monitor this organisation? How long would it take before this organisation become the real power?

"People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them." - Jean Monnet

by Melanchthon on Fri Dec 3rd, 2010 at 12:42:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would it require any organisation at all?

You set up live feeds, and you put the media recordings up on a server. The public and the press can do the rest.

I'll say again - there is no Bureau of Transgression in this idea. It's purely to put policy debate on the record.

As for backroom deals - a meeting that rubber stamps a decision without debating it is just as suspicious as a meeting which doesn't lead to consistent policy.

Financial records provide a literal paper trail for anyone who wants to check who benefits from decisions.

I don't understand why there's a problem with any of this. Parliamentary debates are already televised in the UK, Hansard keeps a record of all parliamentary statements in paper form, and MPs are supposed to make their expense claims and business connections public.

This is just extending the same established principle to other government contexts.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 3rd, 2010 at 01:25:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Parliamentary debates are theatre for the entertainment of policy wonks. And occasionally - very, very occasionally - a public arena for the execution of a particularly criminal indiscreet politician.

Like the meetings of the general assembly of shareholders in a large industrial corporation.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Dec 3rd, 2010 at 02:18:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I am saying is this would require a STASI-like organisation. And who would monitor this organisation?

Make it the law that acceptance of governmental employment constitutes permission to have your activities recorded by sound and video, and, except as specifically excluded, it is legal to make any of these recordings public. Make the legal presumption in favor of release of recordings and make claims to the contrary continuously subject to judicial review, with both the party that made the recording and the party that was recorded entitled to bring claims to a judge of their choice.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Dec 4th, 2010 at 05:20:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Italian government collapse

by IdiotSavant - Jan 15
19 comments

Dutch Government Collapse

by Oui - Jan 16
4 comments

A Rush To Judgement Day

by Oui - Jan 17
2 comments

A Long War?

by Frank Schnittger - Jan 8
77 comments

Israel and A Presidential Election

by Oui - Jan 14
28 comments

Occasional Series