Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Compound disinterest.

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Samurai Government

Follow a Hagakure principle in legislating.
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The Hagakure says "Things of great concern should be treated with lightness. And things of small concern should be taken very seriously."

If this was the principle that motivated our respective legislatures, life would be a more interesting, especially if applied to the criminal law. Theft of a cigarette lighter would attract a heavier penalty than murder.

The eventual 'referendum' on the UK acceding to the Schengen agreement would be taken on a coin toss. The second reading of the Morning Chorus (Prohibition) Bill would attract unprecedented public interest.
calum, Dec 14 2001


       It's one of those things that seems subject to interpretation, but it's said that Rudy Giuliani made significant reductions in crime in New York City by cracking down on jaywalking.
beauxeault, Dec 15 2001

       UnaBubba, you (wilfully, I suspect) misinterpret my examples as implying that this post is entirely UK-centric. I am aware that this is an international forum, hence the phrase "...respective legislatures" instead of "Westminster." In fact, it would be far more interesting if it became a global phenomenon.

I never assumed you gave a toss about issues related to progression to a federalist Europe. Very few people are, least of all Europeans.
calum, Dec 15 2001

       Legislature is made by elected officials and officials are elected on the basis of public opinion. Public opinion is informed / manipulated by the media so I suppose the whole principle happens already to some degree and is called PR / spin.   

       But where do you draw the line at whether its of small or great concern cos once there is unprecedented public interest for something of small concern, which you seem to have created by the very exercising of the principle, it becomes of great concern, right?   

       Trouble is, the impact upon the individual is relative ie the theft of a cigarette lighter from someone who owns nothing but a cigarette lighter may warrant the death penalty in the victim's opinion. And if nobody cares about the Schengen agreement (hmm) then nobody would notice if the decision was taken on a coin toss. So I think that may reverse things depending on when (and by whom) the principle is practiced.   

       So I'm not sure if this is entirely sensible, but what the hell, we can iron out the details as we go along. Let's do it.   

       Once the principle is in place I have a number of ideas I'd like to put forward to my MP.
notripe, Dec 16 2001

       I orginally thought this would involve politicians committing suicide instead of resigning, which incidentally is what the head of the Northern Ireland police volunteered to do recently if a recent, leaked report was shown to be true.   

       Regarding [Peter Sealy]'s comments about rushing around with swords - sadly a paranoid person attacked a Member of Parliament with a samuri sword a while back. His aide managed to shield the MP and the insane man was over powered. Unfortunately the aide died.
Aristotle, Dec 17 2001

       The post was motivated by the fact that no-one pays any attention to the legislative process. The government pays taxpayers money on advertisments asking for the opinion of public for consultation documents. And no-body replies.

If the law was based rather less on upholding the principles that the public embrace, they would be a good deal more attentive.

For the most part, people vote for a party on fairly arbitrary grounds: because their parents voted that way; because the MP seems like a nice man; because they are 'sick of Party X.' This would give them a reason to read party manifestos and make an informed choice.

Plus, it's the only way my Prohibition of Umbrellas for Short People Bill would get passed.
calum, Dec 17 2001

       In my lifetime I've seen both Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair win landslide majorities for the Conservative and Labour party respectively. People do switch sides and read manifestos but not on the scale some people would like.   

       One problem is that most media that tries to entertain a mass audience dumbs things down and therefore promotes dumb politics and politicans - such as William Hague's pitiful unpopular popularism. Another is that voters often don't like the manifestos when they read them because the choice that any individual voter wants might be missing.   

       However I sympathise with a desire to ban short people from using umbrellas. They can be a menace when wielded at eye-level ...
Aristotle, Dec 17 2001

       cf. Parkinson's Law: The Law of vanishing interest.
8th of 7, Jun 13 2002


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