Politics would be better if only politicians would …..begin re-building trust in politics, by trusting each other, by engendering trust between parties for the common good, by allowing and facilitating trust in themselves among the governed, and most of all by trusting the people, if given two paths, to choose the right one.
Why is this important? Quite simply because trust is the mortar that binds the fundamental building blocks of democracy together; and without trust these sit uneasily and unjointed, susceptible to both political storms and day by day attrition. Democratic institutions at whatever level, whether high on the hill or around the corner are man made and require human bonding beyond the clause, the contract, and the signature.
So the award would be for building trust, not blind faith but measurable building blocks of trust. For example by allowing the occasional full and frank open debate not set within party lines behind closed doors, by having politicians interacting in public as they do in private, by not adopting a knee-jerk binary allocation of resources, by publishing SMART plans and admitting failure, by relinquishing double jobbing. Or it could be for the simple acts of attending a GAA match, or attending a Remembrance Day service.
Footnote: This is the first in a series of ideas for what *political* behaviour the Slugger O’Toole Awards should be rewarding. We’re looking for more ideas on what we should be rewarding (details here). Once we’ve got a few, we will launch the voting on this section of the awards. We have already opened the voting on the ideas for improving the way the media work – you can rate every idea or add your own here. To find out more about the 2010 awards, see here.