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Government health check

Can the machinery of government be reformed without a constitutional upheaval? Which parts of the machinery are functioning and which are failing? Sarah Hogg offers an inside view

By Sarah Hogg   1

At a seminar in Chicago this summer, pundits from both sides of the Atlantic were lamenting the seemingly universal disillusionment with government. Paradoxically, we agreed, just when western democracy has resoundingly defeated communism in the great global battle of ideas, democratic politics and politicians everywhere in the west are sinking lower and lower in public esteem.

It took someone from Chicago to cut the hand-wringing short. Politics, he reminded us, is bound to be a rough old business. “Look,” he said briskly, “if all the airlines competed for business by telling you that the others were flown by incompetent drunks…

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