MPs need research assistants to help them make informed decisions
Posted Tuesday, January 22 2013 at 02:00
The shortcomings in our Parliament come down to the simple fact that our representatives are not making informed decisions. This has caused Parliament to be riddled with conspiracies and threats, continuous caucuses and the unnecessary formation of forums for each bill, law and audit brought to the House.
Therefore, the challenge we have before us is how to ensure that our Parliamentarians make informed decisions without creating a tax burden, at least in the short run.
I propose that we hire research assistants for each MP. There are about 300 MPs whose background, education, experience and expertise is as diverse as can be, and yet we expect them to make and vote for the best options on very specific and complex decisions that are most of the time unrelated to their area of expertise.
It is of course unreasonable to expect them to have expertise in all aspects, however we at the very least expect them to be able to make good decisions when provided with enough detail.
Parliament is already one of the largest wage bills that our taxes cater for so we should of course not expect to foot more bills for more than 300 research assistants.
The research assistant positions should be made available to youth especially those at university, across all departments and studies this way, they can accrue over two to three years of experience before graduation, in addition to developing great research and independent thinking skills that are vital for an entrepreneurial mind-set.
A central Parliamentary office can be setup to be in charge of this recruitment. It would identify areas of importance to MPs such as economics, education, business, agriculture, etc and provide each MP with five or six research consultants that find and provide relevant information to the them so that they can make informed decisions.
This would in turn provide experience to at least 1500 youth, and since the positions would be temporary, lasting for a year or two, by the end of the 5year Parliamentary term, over 7000 youth would have obtained valuable learning experiences that would bolster their chances at creating or landing their next job opportunity while at the same time greatly improving our Parliament’s quality.
This would also encourage more discussion in the house, since MPs would have strong and good reason for their respective stances, it would also ensure decisions are made from concrete and tangible observations and research rather than gut feeling, which would improve the quality of the debates in Parliament and the overall image of the Legislature.
This would also broaden the number of people involved in making decisions that will determine the future of our country from simply 300 individuals to over 3000 people, without reducing quality and timeliness.