I've just finished reading 'The Ghost', which is such a lazy, tedious and nothing like the write up on it's cover, 'one man uncovers the worlds greatest conspiracy', that it as been made into a film.
The only thing the author really did get right (and even then made an ad hoc mess of getting the point across) was how power corrupts. The book is clearly based on Tony Blair but could equally have been about any recognisable politician in Britain and possibly around the globe. Affairs, mistresses, wives in the background, bland personalities, generally amoral and backed by some shadowy organisation or party and complimented by a host of hangers on - the researcher who would follow anyone who paid him, the mistress, the sycophants who agree with his every word waiting for the scraps off his table, the upper class twit seeking glory by association and so on.
So although the book itself was not particularly thought provoking, I did start to wonder how the tide could be turned to get politicians (generally) into power who are not corrupted by it and the hangers on seeking second-hand kicks.
Instead of going down the old route proposed by our new government = majority rule v proportianal representation, how about this.
1. Politicians should be paid only the national average wage. This means that being an MP is still reasonably attractive, does not exclude poorer members of society but does not attract those looking for big bucks. (NB: only actual expenses to be paid as well - no second homes etc).
2. Anyone seeking to enter politics must undergo a competency test. This would include an exam to test numeracy, literacy and their understanding of goverment.
3. Staffing for politicians should be kept to a minimum. One secretary for example. If their party wants to pay for extra staff, let the party do so. This would rid politics of some of the hangers on if there are less opportunities for money grubbing.
These are just a few ideas for starters, so let me know if you have any better ones for stopping the madness that politics has now become. Proportional representation will change nothing. Making politics just an ordinary job just might do the trick.