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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

What do we Pay them for?

I have been particularly harsh this last couple of weeks to those poor put upon professional politicians that sacrifice so much for our good. I was starting to feel sorry for my behaviour when I read this:

Swedish television aired a programme in which leading journalist Janne Josefsson went into the Riksdag and asked various MPs three quite simple questions about the Constitution.
  1. How do you reach qualified majority according to the Constitution?
  2. What is exclusive competence?
  3. What is a citizens initiative?
They are not particulary easy questions, but they cover essential parts of the constitution. Anyone who claimed that they were better placed than the public to vote on the constitution should at least be able to manage a rough answer to each one. When the political parties realized what was going on their circulated the answers to their MPs. The result of this little exam was amusing.
Before the alarm 28 MPs had been interviewed. Only three of them knew all the answers (sort of). 19 MPs didn't manage to answer a single question correctly!
But apparently they know so much better than the general public, that the government does not want to grant a referendum to the Swedish public.

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