Allan Takes Aim Blog

Has the time come for a new political idea?

Posted on: 15 January 2013

The day is getting close when few executives in a company can expect to stay on forever. The terms might vary but today the expectations are geared to between five and eight years particularly in the top job. This was brought to mind by a TV news report of the rumour that Andrew Scipione, Chief Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force would soon be leaving the job.

Adding substance to the rumour were his words during a fairly recent interview when he said that though his contract still had two years to run, having served six years in the position, his use by date was approaching. This is happening more frequently in the world of big business as experienced executives move from one company to another and in doing so gave support to the old adage that ‘a change is as good as a rest.’

After moving I doubt the executives will need to change their management skills. In all probability these skills will improve with the change of business scenery. They might also regain their capacity for invention and innovation and also develop new skills.

If you don’t think this is true an examination of the employment background of many executives (including CEOs) in Australia’s major companies will display a background that shows lack of experience in the field which the company they are employed is operating. And while I won’t go as far as to say that the company they left and the company they work for now will have benefitted from the change, I think it more than likely.

This is not to say there are no exceptions to my theory. Some small self-owned and self- managed businesses are unlikely to benefit from change if only because customers like dealing with familiar owners and managers.Unfortunately however, that is changing, as small businesses get gobbled up by big business and the familiar is replaced by the unfamiliar.

Perhaps we think this is a new and undesirable chapter in the life of business but the fact is history will show that this was ever so. Since the start of commerce the same process has occurred time and time again because the wheel of life has never stopped turning. In a sense and though it applies to other than human and/or animal life, the process is Darwin’s theory of evolution writ large.

Unfortunately, one business that should have changed but hasn’t is politics. The West endorses democracy as the system in the wheel of life that will cure life’s inherent problems. Despite centuries having passed since the idea of democracy made its first appearance, ambitious people have used the idea to enhance their life at the expense of others.

Which brings me to political wars and the election of politicians: in reality, politicians are business executives because government is big business. Unfortunately unlike business, where executives can be sacked because of incompetence, politicians manage to escape that possibility even if after being elected it becomes apparent they don’t measure up to the CV presented to voters. (Think Thomson and Slipper)

Why should this be the case? After all billion dollar businesses carry on even when executives get sacked.

So let me suggest that in the same way as business organisation use technology to advance their business, why, on a regular half yearly basis, can’t voters use technology to advise a Government’s Managing Director of their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their government’s business management They would also be able to suggest as to which politicians should get the chop because their performance is below par.

Such an idea might be too revolutionary for politicians but I think voters would l welcome it.

Some politicians will say the idea is daft but, following 508-507 BCE when Cleisthenes established what is generally held to be the first democracy, democaracy would undergo many adaptations before our current system was accepted. And so I ask: is the proposed idea daft? Some politicians I know think this is the future of democracy beyond tomorrow or the next election and that eventually it will come.

At the same time I think politicians should not be allowed to serve more than two parliamentary terms thus avoiding the current system which encourages politicians to think a seat in government is a sinecure. Importantly, such a system would refresh government and keep politicians on their toes. Also they would have to keep close to the electorate to find out first – hand what voters in their electorate thought important not what biased staff thought.

But that’s enough for today and perhaps to your relief, tomorrow I shall be silent.
Blog: Allan Takes Aim; web:; e:


10 Responses to "Has the time come for a new political idea?"

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don i read somewhere once that roman engineers were forced to stand under the finished structure (ie, bridge, aquaduct, …) at the time the supporting formwork was pulled

maybe you could work that level of ‘skin in the game’ into your proposal outlined above?

Bryn, what a wonderful idea. Just think of the ACT politicians and planners you’d like to line up undrer the bridge for the photoshoot in hope that the bridge suddenly collapses. Don

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