Are they really that bad?
Yes
68.6% (24)
68.6% (24)
No
20% (7)
20% (7)
Meh
11.4% (4)
11.4% (4)
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Poll: Are politicians really that bad?

I could sit here and write a series of elaborate paragraphs, but I'll just be blunt: What's so bad about politicians and why does everyone hate them?

It seems like politicians more or less serve as a collective punching bag for when anything goes wrong, whether it's their fault or not. Sure, there are lots of individual politicians who are stupid/corrupt, but that doesn't mean they're bad as a group. I mean, someone has to run things, and it's not going to be you or me.

I'm just saying I don't envy their job and they get a bad rap overall, do you agree or not and why?

(inb4 "Yes, except for Ron Paul.)

short answer....yes
long answer.....yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.....

Sarah Palin raped whatever faith I had in our political system. Amassing a fortune off idiot women mid westerners and republicans who support her..... and the tlc network.

note to self....bomb tlc network headquarters....and alaska...

Not politicians per se - I mean, they're each, at their core, an person of some intelligence who believes that they are going to implement some positive change for their country. But I think that politics, as a system, is massively flawed, because it seems formed around a false dichotomy that promotes tribalized us versus them thinking which is detrimental to intelligent discourse and the progress of government.

There is such a powerful focus on the Red Team against the Blue Team that politicians - particularly entrenched politicians, who have been in the game for many years - tend to sacrifice rational thought or ignore glaring facts in lieu of acting in the better interest of their particular side, without considering if that interest is truly going improve matters. Team doctrine on either side seems at times almost moot; there is a list of things that Reds are for and against, and a list of things that Blues are fore and against, and members of each party are expected to memorize their lists, but neither side gives much consideration to the reasons or ramifications of their list items - nor, crucially, to the list items of their opponents. There is very little incentive for members of either team to come together to swap lists, to compare notes and cherry-pick beliefs according to what would better suit the nation as a whole; compromise in any form is seen as a betrayal to their chosen color.

I think politicians might be better served with the abolition of Political Parties, so as to break some of the Tribalist mentality that comes from having two massive, opposing sides.

Regretably in order for me to respond to the question I must do so in context. I will try to be as brief and as readable as I can be in stating my opinion.

Here's the thing about democracy; the whole thing, the whole system, only works because the government is weak. Take Obama as an example; he wants to do something noble in making it so that everybody has health insurance and thus access to health care. This is, however, a massive change, requiring a massive excercise of power.

Power is a blunt instrument and an unwieldy one. No matter how noble your goal you will hurt people by using it. Hence all the opposition.

There must always be opposition to anything and everything because the other thing about democracy is that it is a constant battle that can never be won, only lost. Obama might get his legislation through but the argument must continuely be made because a later administration could dismantle it. This is a good thing as it means society, or rather the law that shapes it, is adaptive.

So with democracy established as a battle that makes the politicians its warriors. What is a politician? A politician is a representative. Who does he or she represent? His or her constituents. How will constituents choose their warriors? They will choose them by how well they will fight for them. Political parties represent different philosophies to address the needs of the constituents and provide politicians for the constituents to choose from.

A bad politician is one who does not fight for his or her constituents. Or who does not fight at all. A bad politician could also be categorised as one who fights in such a way as to undermine the overall framework, the institutions of democracy.

I do not believe the current crop of representatives in either Europe or the US currently fall into this category, ergo any dissatisfaction must arise from either the constitutents which would reflect poor health of political activism or from the problems. As the global economy has basically thrown up in its collective mouth, it is not hard to draw a conclusion over where all the dissatisfaction arises from.

YES

Or at least the vast majority are. Politicians do not have anything to gain from actually helping the electorate, apart from when their own personal interests coincide with new laws. And they're much more interested in keeping things generally the same as they already are rather than kicking up the establishment, as their careers will last longer this way.

A few bullet points from the UK:

- Corrupt Expenses
- Exploiting the media for propaganda
- Not doing anything about the banking sector, after several years and different governments.

In a way, the answer is both "yes" and "no." I believe the most politicians genuinely want what's best for the people in their countries, just that most of them are dead wrong about how to go about it. It isn't that politicians should be hated, it's that they can't ever be trusted, even when their intentions seem decent. A government with actual power and support - a government that can get things done - the only thing they'll get done is taking away our liberties. Politicians need to be hounded, opposed, and questioned every second of every day over every decision they ever make, or else the most essential thing that the government is supposed to protect, our freedom, is put in jeopardy. That's how democracy is supposed to work, and that level of mistrust for the government is the only shield we have against all the most misguided good intentions of the people that are supposed to represent us.

Yes. Sarkozy just got busted for accepting bribes. That should answer your question.

Trilligan and Bertylicious more or less nailed it -

Politicians are just acting units in a social system - they can serve their function (making binding decisions) effectively or ineffectively. They are only as effective as their political influence, which practically means that they should do whatever idiotic thing it takes to convince the most "people" to defer to them and constituents to back them, and they mostly do such.

The system itself merely hosts a power game. We can blame the people acting as politians for being so misguided as to willingly enter such roles insofar as they convince themselves they are doing noble work (or for shirking their share of responsibility for the problem if they are aware of the situation but continue to serve their roles) - but it's as much a factor of the system itself being a cancer (and really, we're ALL partly responsible for that).

Whose politicians? I'm reasonably happy with the people running my country. Mind you, that's because I comapre them with various other politicians in power elsewhere.

Anyway, in a democracy, politicians are supposed represent the people. If you have a horrible politician in power, the reason for this is likely to involve lots of horrible voters.

Unless they are fucking everyone over, which wouldn't surprise me.

Not at all; in the UK they are all, at heart, patriotic chaps and chappesses trying to do the best for the country - and usually the decision's they make are fairly sensible ones or, at worst, the least bad options. The problem is that we expect them to be all powerful, which they aren't, be in possession of 20/20 hindsight, which is impossible, and find the exact line in some pretty complicated balancing acts first time when often the only information they have to go on is blind guesswork.

There are some flaws in the system, for sure. The fact that every opposition seems to see the role of "holding the government to account" as meaing "make a ton of contradictory, often hypocritical attacks on the government even though you know damn well you'd do exactly the same thing", fo example

GonvilleBromhead:
Not at all; in the UK they are all, at heart, patriotic chaps and chappesses trying to do the best for the country - and usually the decision's they make are fairly sensible ones or, at worst, the least bad options. The problem is that we expect them to be all powerful, which they aren't, be in possession of 20/20 hindsight, which is impossible, and find the exact line in some pretty complicated balancing acts first time when often the only information they have to go on is blind guesswork.

There are some flaws in the system, for sure. The fact that every opposition seems to see the role of "holding the government to account" as meaing "make a ton of contradictory, often hypocritical attacks on the government even though you know damn well you'd do exactly the same thing", fo example

Doesn't the very existence of Allaister Campbell somewhat undermine your point though?

 

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