The UK’s fixed-term parliaments could see politicians failing to prioritise climate change, veteran naturalist Sir David Attenborough has suggested. BBC Science And Environment 25/01/2020
I’d go further. It’s not just a failure to prioritise, fixed term parliaments are incapable of properly addressing long term problems. Success or failure is measured on too short a time scale. It’s too easy to “kick the can down the road” when each administration can only be judged on a short time frame. Responsibility is too easily avoided.
The most important decisions we make aren’t about what is achieved in a 4 or 5 year election cycle, but what we put in place for the next generation. Such decisions shouldn’t be left to career politicians whose main focus is to say what we want to hear, to get our vote, to keep their job.
The biggest and most difficult decisions we make in society should be independent of 2-party divisive politics. Citizens Assemblies have proved their worth in this area and the format is facing a big test in the UK with the start of a Citizens Assembly on Climate Change.
Any decisions made however will be advisory, not binding. So this is just a small glimpse of where the future of democracy lies.
A spokeswoman for Extinction Rebellion put this into context “because it is not commissioned by the government it is not what we are looking for. We want something with real teeth, that has actual power to influence policy,” she said.
Announcement made June 2019 parliament.uk
UK citizens’ climate assembly to meet for first time The Guardian 22/01/2020