Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

Is politics meritocratic or not?

6 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. Meritocracy cannot compete with equality and so now we have mediocracy. Neither can meritocracy compete with privilege and nepotism. The happy balance would have been achieved on nothing more than allowing all things to be evaluated by merit. The right in times gone bye were wrong and the left have corrected that wrong with another wrong. This is true of many things that we have in place that have swung the balance too far from one side to the other, human rights, health and safety, employment law this list is endless. This factor of over compensating is the main reason that we suffer the economic and social ills that we do today.

  2. Before actually going to the link, can we establish this isn’t one of those “Win a holiday of a lifetime!” by ringing a premium rate number “with the answer to this simple question” scams.

  3. I suspect politics is actually a meritocracy, but the specific field of merit at its core is far from virtuous or admirable. Politics has degenerated into the art of capturing and maintaining public sector sinecures, whilst burnishing your facade of genuine public service, and the illusion of competence.

  4. Something to consider is that under winner-takes-all voting, you generally end up with 2 competitors, 1 representing each side of the political divide. So, it doesn’t matter who stands for Labour in Knowsley or Bolsover, they’re going to win anyway. This means that the party don’t have to find the smartest or hardest working people for seats. They can instead favour say, sons and daughters of grandees.

  5. Something to consider is that under winner-takes-all voting, you generally end up with 2 competitors, 1 representing each side of the political divide.

    I’m not sure that’s who the two are. I think they’re just, The Incumbents and The Challengers. Their politics doesn’t actually matter very much.

    Humans evolved in tribes. A tribe has some kind of a leader- a chief, a big man, a grand poobah. The rest of the tribe tolerate him unless and until he turns out to be too crap, or too nasty, and then a faction of challengers arises and overthrows him, their leader becomes the chief, big man or poobah, until challenged, and so on. That’s the basic model of human political leadership. So we always end up thinking, “shall we continue with the one we’ve already got, or oust him and try the challenger?” That’s our mental model.

    That’s why they don’t really try to do what we want. They only have to keep resentment below a certain level. If resentment rises too high, we’ll follow the challenger instead. That’s the calculation.

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