Thursday, May 12, 2005

New imperfect animals

I had dinner yesterday with my friend James who is really into web communities, the Commons movement and different community projects. I love these chats. I feel like my batteries would have been charged by having a enthousiastic debate on nothing smaller than the state of democracy in Western world.

I have been preaching in this blog about participatory democracy and the need for dialogue. Now I shall look at the other end of the scale. I mean the politicians.

Political animal is a common nickname for a politician. It communicates rather clearly how we see our politicians. We seem to think that they are living in a parallel universe.

There is of course some truth in that. I noticed it when I was active in the student movement that my language started changing when I interacted a lot with civil servants and MPs. I said challenges, not problems. I stressed the need for a critical evaluation when I did not like something. Really scary stuff. It has been a learning process to get back on the other side.

But still, I would not blame the people in politics. I blame us, the people. We have let this happen. We have elected these people. Or often we have let other people elect these kind of people. We need to sharpen up. We need to change the political animals to another species. The species we belong to. This is a task for NGOs, individual citizens and political journalists. We need to ask for better answers to our questions.

The state we are has a lot to do with our exaggerated expectations. We allow our friends to be imperfect and even annoying but the same does not apply to politicians. We need to humanise politics. At the present culture we are giving incentives for people in politics to play it safe. And whenever someone makes a mistake, we form a choir and shout:"You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!" If we would allow politicians to stumble a bit, to guess, to show some insecurity, we would also make it easier to step into politics. And to be very clear: I don´t mean cheating, I mean imperfection.

p.s. I said at one point that I do not mind if people read my blog. Still, I would encourage you to comment. Especially if you disagree. Although fan clubs are also allowed.


Anonymous said...

Kylläpä vaan luetaan - säännöllisesti ja mielenkiinnolla.
Kommentoidaan, kun tavataan:-)

Tommi Laitio said...

Nyt minulla ei ole hajuakaan, kuka tämä salaperäinen anonymous lukija on...

Ville said...

Minäkin luen joka viikko. Mukavia juttuja.

Toinen Ville said...


Löysin vihdoin tämän mahtavan älykköpinnistelyblogin! Maailma tarvitsee sua Tommi. Keep up the good work!