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May 02 , 2010

In Defence of Politicians

In Spite of Themselves


In a lively and gripping essay on contemporary politics, Peter Riddell remakes the case for representative democracy but concludes that it desperately needs to be strengthened. The effect of the expenses scandal has been to turn off both existing and potential representatives and voters. Naive reformers believe the answer is wholesale constitutional reform, but the result of that is likely to be stalemate and rule by powerful and well-funded vested interests. Instead, Riddell calls for a balance between popular participation and clear-cut decision making, underlining that political parties are necessary for decent as well as strong government. A timely and considered defence of the political process at a time when they are relentlessly under fire, this book will realign the way we look at our politicians.

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