Seems to me that all MPs are doing two jobs.
We pay them full time to take part in the government of this country – whether they are in the Government (capital G) party or not. That is their job and it seems to me like it should be a full time one, especially considering the salary, expenses, pension and perks on offer. But I have yet to see a politician that does not engage in at least one other job, namely “politics”. We don’t pay them to do that. Doing “politics” is not something the tax payer should be funding. It is a second job.
The bigger problem with politics in this context is that it removes much of the free will of the individual MP. Political parties are undemocratic because they exercise power yet they are not elected. That might not make sense at first but despite what the media (press and TV) push at us continually you do not get to vote for the Conservatives or Labour (other parties are available in most areas) you get to vote for an MP, and only an MP. Check out the ballot paper – it is the names of individuals with their affiliation underneath. What you are actually being asked to do when you vote is select someone to represent you and your constituency in the best manner that they can. That, as far as the voting system is concerned, is that. So what voters should do is look at the candidates and decide which promotes ideas that they think would be good for their community in particular and who they believe is honest and will remain true to those ideals.
Once elected, an MP should represent all of his constituents whether they voted for her/him or not. That is where their loyalties must lie, not with the party who stumped up their campaign costs and deposit.
What actually happens is that people are pushed to vote for a party by electing that party’s local representative regardless of their personal qualities and local allegience. Their voting patterns are then bent, by the whips, to the will of the party, the party wit hthe most representatives becomes the government and the leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister. There is an huge democratic disjoint between what we are asked to vote for and what we get.
Oh and a note to the party that wins … because you got the most representatives does not mean that everyone has given you a mandate for that one liner at the end of page 167 of your manifesto. It means that you were the least worst of what was on offer and your promises were the least ridiculous. If you think every voter has read and assessed your entire manifesto then (a) you know very little about voters and (b) your print run must be massive to allow us all a full copy. Why do we not read manifestos? They are long, boring and little more than a bunch of fantasies – unless that is you can tell exactly what the political and economic situation of the world will be for the next five years?
Of course, some independents might not engage in politics and to them I apologise, however the media is so fixated on party politics over government that the independent rarely gets even a footnote so we, the public, might not be aware of them.