Wednesday, 24 March 2010

What Qualities Should MPs Have?

I was reading a few other blogs today, very thought provoking. 'In the Commons, 110 of 645 MPs have a BSc or equivalent, whereas nearly as 400 have humanity or law qualifications.' At least they have some qualifications, some don't.

Julian Huppert, LD PPC for Cambridge, has written about the need for more qualified scientists and engineers in parliament. 'A successful PR agency will be able to create a good response for a product, whatever the true merits of the product. A scientist or engineer, however, succeeds based on things working.'

I’m glad someone thinks we need more engineers in Parliament, I just happen to be an engineer. But I don't think that would address the problem. Most MPs are lawyers or career politicians, and they don't have the required skills of reflect the population. I think most engineers and scientists lack the communication skills needed.

I think we need MPs who have experience as employers, team workers & as volunteers. They should have applied for jobs and hired other people. Too many have very limited backgrounds, and are hopelessly out of their depth. We also need more women, and people from different backgrounds and with a wide variety of skills.

Sanbikinoraion says 'Ideally, legislators should have a sharp eye for detail, excellent reading comprehension skills, an excellent grasp of statistics, an understanding of history and political philosophy and a set of novel personal background experiences to bring to the table.'

In practise, after convincing their party members that they will perform well, PPCs then must convince 35,000+ skeptics to give them a job, 'through awareness-raising campaigning, doorstepping, local problem solving, successful media interviews and appearances, and being able to recall and reframe the main planks of their party's brand identity at will'.

To every rule there are exceptions; I have met some young PPCs who have built up there local parties from a handful to a strong force that others must take seriously. That is such an impressive feat that I think they are capable of being brilliant MPs regardless of their backgrounds or experience.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Hi Adrian;

Love the blog think it's great. Just wanted to flag up the latest Howard League for Penal Reform campaign on less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. We'd love it if you could flag up our campaign on your blog if you get the time.

Also if your interested the Howard League is holding a Twitchat with Green PPC Ben Duncan tomorrow from 1230...


Stephen Gummer
Public Affairs Officer
The Howard League for Penal Reform
1 Ardleigh Road
London N1 4HS