Saturday, 5 July 2008


(In the following, for ‘he’, ‘him’, and ‘his’, read ‘he/she, ‘him/her’, and ‘his/hers’.)
by L. Berney
British Prime Minister, Gordon brown with US President, George Bush
On the face of it, the job of being a President or Prime Minister has many serious disadvantages.
  • It is potentially dangerous. There is a constant risk of an attempted assassination.
  • Considering the responsibility, he is paid less than comparable jobs in industry and commerce.
  • Everything he does or says is minutely scrutinized. Every opportunity is taken by the media, the opposition, even by some members of his own party to criticize him.
  • It is impossible, at best very difficult, for him or his family to enjoy a private life.
  • The work schedule and pressure must be tremendous.
Why, then, do Presidents and Prime Ministers undertake such a job? Why do they fight tooth and nail to get it?
If one were asked, Why do you want to be the President / Prime Minister?” his answer would probably be something like this:
“I have been a life-long member of the XXX party and I firmly believe that our policies are absolutely right for our country -- for all classes of society, for the young, the students, for families, for the elderly. Our policies will ensure financial stability and economic growth, for this generation and for generations to come”.
“I vow to strive for the good of all, and I will devote the whole of my abilities for the welfare of our people I believe I am the right person to lead the Party and the Country”.
If he were to speak the truth, the real reason why he wants the job would go something like this:
“Many years ago, I had to decide what career I would follow; I liked the Power and Status that professional politicians have. People look up to them; they make the laws which people have to obey, whether they like them or not. Their work-load seemed not too onerous; they have long holidays; as an MP they have an office and a staff paid by whatever political party they belong to. The pay is quite good and there is a generous expense account”.
“I reckoned I was good at making speeches and convincing people. I decided to become a Career Politician, a Member of Parliament. I wasn’t too concerned about which party I would join.”
“My ambition, having become a MP, was to be the President / Prime Minister. Think of it! To be the Most Powerful Person in the whole country! I knew that, in addition to the substantial salary, there would be considerable additional incomes from newspaper articles and after-dinner speeches. And, of course, while in office, a luxury all-expenses-paid life-style, for me and my family. At the end there will be substantial incomes from memoirs and lectures, and an appointment to the board of one or more of the major private sector companies I had been able to ‘help’ while I was in office -- with a REAL financial reward. And, no doubt, a Title for services rendered”.
That is something worth fighting for, fighting very hard for.
It is very clear that the motivation of the person fighting for the President’s / Prime Minister’s job is solely SELF-INTEREST – it is NOT what it is supposed to be: the welfare of the people. Is this the ultimate in hypocrisy?
In the light of this, the question about a would-be or an incumbent President / Prime Minister that every citizen must, or should, ask himself is this:
A mentally well-balanced normal person would not want the job. As this man is so clearly desperate to get, or to hold on to the job, he must be to some degree unbalanced, not normal. Moreover, his basic motive is egotistical, self-seeking; it is not what it should be: ‘for the good of all’
Question: Is he a fit and proper person to govern?
Answer: Almost certainly NO!
It is exactly this problem – the ‘one-person Ruler’ problem – that resulted in the American Revolution of 1775. The British American colonies broke away from having their lives governed by King George III and set up their own form of government; a Democratic Government. It was to be a Government of the people by the people and for the people. Most essentially, there would be no ‘one-person Ruler’. Over the next decades, Democracy spread throughout Europe.
The first few meetings of the people’s Representatives in the new United States Congress were indeed Democratic -- matters were decided by ‘free majority vote’. But it was not long before Political Parties and their Leaders emerged. The form of government changed from the original ‘…Government by the People’ to ‘…Government by the Political Party in power’. The leader of the party in power became ‘the President’, a `’one-person Ruler’. The system of government returned to (almost) the same system as it was before.
In the new Democratic Governments of Europe, party leaders, as ‘Prime Minister’ or ‘Premier’ took over as ‘one-person Rulers’ with overall power, just as they had in America. And that is still how it is today.
The style of government practiced in Western called Democracy, in spite of the name, is not a Democracy (rule by the people); what we have is an Autocracy (rule by one person). The ‘one-person Ruler’ system of government we have today is, for the reasons set out above, seriously flawed.
There is an alternative: Return to the original concept of what a Representative Democracy was meant to be – a Parliament without Political Parties and without Leaders or Rulers or Prime Ministers or Presidents – a Parliament that enacts legislation by its members exercising a ‘free majority vote’- a True Democracy.
Government of the people, by the people, for the people.
Is a Government without a one-person Leader or Ruler possible? I believe it is.
(See This Can't Be The Best Way To Run The Country! series: “Democracy and Party Politics”)

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