Jamie Whyte has an interesting idea:
When no amount of prior regulation reduces the quantity of subsequent regulation, it is clear that politicians\’ incentives to legislate are disconnected from any good that their laws might do. How can this preposterous situation be remedied?
An attempt is currently before New Zealand\’s Parliament. The Regulatory Responsibility Bill aims to improve the quality of legislation by specifying principles of responsible regulation and requiring the sponsor of any new Bill to report on its compliance with these principles.
The principles are simple and uncontroversial but still sufficient to rule out most recent British legislation. For example, one states that legislation should not diminish the rule of law by creating uncertainty as to whether actions are lawful. That would dispose of Britain\’s “incitement to hatred” laws. Another states that legislation should not diminish freedom of contract. That would rule out most employment legislation, which is little more than a conspiracy against freedom of contract. And the principle that a Bill should not be passed into law if its goal could better be achieved without it would do for almost all other legislation of recent years.
Alas, the Bill does not go far enough. It provides no extra-parliamentary mechanism for ensuring adherence to its principles, explicitly ruling out judicial review. The shame of publishing a report about their misguided, principles-violating legislation is supposed to keep politicians honest.
As the first comment points out, that mechanism was in fact the House of Lords.
But the general thrust seems sound. If we cannot have my preferred solution to politicians (hang them all and let God sort them out) then can we at least make them irrelevant?