Election Is about More Than Marking Paper with a Cross; Politics Is in Need of a Revolution in Trust and Creativity Which Will Open Up a New Chapter in Democracy, Writes Robin Morrison of the Church in Wales the Thursday Essay
Byline: Robin Morrison
FUKUYAMA'S famous book "The End of History" was code for the end of a certain kind of political relationship between capitalism and communism in the Cold War years.
So the "end of politics" is one way of calling for the end of a certain kind of politics which no longer convinces or compels support.
Politics, as we know it, has ended because people no longer trust or respect politicians.
What's destroyed in weeks can take months and years or special events to be regained. The events just could be the general election and then the Wales elections.
What better chance to refresh the image, rebuild confidence and re-think the big questions? Politicians will be making a big mistake if they think the expenses scandal is the only issue. That's just one symptom of something deeper.
These are great times for real change, as we keep hearing. We so rarely get a chance to re-think and re-fashion how we relate to each other - for that is what politics really means.
Democracy is much more than marking a paper with a "cross" once every four years, or being invited to comment on consultation documents in between. That's politics at its most minimal and superficial.
The whole idea of democracy is participation and involvement. Re-thinking and re-fashioning a new politics cannot take place if we sit back on the sofa for four years and just moan about "them".
That leaves us with a sense of powerlessness and frustration, wondering why we even bother to vote in the first place. This kind of politics has become meaningless for most people.
We need to rediscover a new trust, risk and creativity at all levels. Without trust there can be no real involvement or shared responsibility.
The language of responsibility is the new social justice. This is a time to bring back powerful, inspirational ideas and words which have real meaning on a day to day basis - hope, trust, involvement, engagement.
Above all, yah-boo political self-interest has got to go. This is the old political world.
Adversarial style is fine in a university debating chamber or a law court. Adversarial politics is a tragic waste of time, energy and skills which could be better used on collaboration to transform the needs of the country and the common good.
If politicians want partnerships in civil society to work well, it's time they showed the way themselves.
Politics is far too important to let it spiral down into party or individual self-interest. Before online instant access and global media, these old games in Westminster, or even now in the Senedd, were played without anyone even noticing or caring. This is no longer good enough.
We have not elected politicians to spend the next four years defending their own parties and their narrow self-interest. …