Monday, May 25, 2009

Democracy and duckhouses

This email I received from a relative in UK notes some of the pettier forms of corruption among politicians:
We are having quite a lot of fun with MPs' expenses. The one that has captured the public's imagination is the purchase by a Tory MP of a rather fancy floating duck house for £1,500 at the taxpayer's expense.

They are very pretty, and if not so expensive I would like one on our roof for the two ceramic chinese ducks I bought recently from Oxfam...

Also amusing is the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer charged us £1500 in accountancy fees to do his annual tax return
These news items point to a long-standing problem with representative democracy. Should we pay our representatives? If we force them to make politics their sole trade then they no longer represent "us."
I can't see any easy way out of this.