To be honest, and quite despite my recent post on the matter, I’m really rather meh on the subject – a little like I am on the matter of AV and ready, in a rather similar manner, to be convinced either way. For example, Chris, arguing in favour of monarchies, concludes that:
[…] a monarchy is a symbol of a society that is disfigured by class division. […] But we should worry about the bird, not the plumage.
Whilst Sunder seems to think a photo of blithely happy children is, justly, part of the emotional jigsaw which should help swing our sentiments – as well as our bitter intellectualism – in favour of unelected privilege.
Of course, this latter point may be exactly the weakness of republicanism. If we can see no virtue in unelected privilege, where exactly lies the virtue in its elected alternative? This is, perhaps, part of a wider problem: how power corrupts absolutely.
In which case maybe what we need is a completely different approach to creating and sustaining body politics: we must, in some way, ensure that as politicians scale the multifarious pyramids of political patronage (local, national and international), a professionally technical control over their actions increases. That is to say, an accountability of a completely different sort. In a virtual world, for example, it should be possible to organise things so that London-based politicos are overseen by professionally northern scrutineers – and, of course, vice-versa. In fact, for the overseers and the doers never to sup at the same table.
In fact, what we really need is for those who scrutinise the technical aspects of politics that I mention not to be practising politicians – and for those who are practising politicians not to be responsible for scrutinising the technical behaviours of those who would otherwise be their peers. Only then could we guarantee the separation of interests, habitats and surroundings that would help sustain transparency and honesty amongst all.