Regulate the government?- (01.10.06)

There's a reasonable amount of consensus about corporate governance these days. Companies are held accountable not just for performance to shareholders but from their impact on the environment and how they make and stand by their decisions. So should governments be held to account using the same principles.

Rather than starting a debate about who decides ministerial pay, why not only increase pay by inflation and introduce an element of performance related pay. Targets could be set for economic growth, inflation, inequality, child poverty, hospital queues and whatever other targets that could be chosen, with a set amount of bonus paid for these being achieved. Backbench and oppostion MPs as well as the government pay could be determined by the same criteria, helping to introduce a little bit of consensus rather than adversarial politics. As with corporate governance, glossy annual report setting out the objectives and the achievements could be made widely available. The language of governance might even avoid the language of political spin being applied to the report.

Of course to take the idea to its logical conclusion might be a little too radical, pay MPs based on what proportion of the electorate voted for them!