My good friend Alec Muffett has blogged an excellent idea, the UK National Loyalty Card.
His thesis is that at present there are no tangible rewards for being good. However, if the government introduced a national loyalty card and said that you got points for being good and that you could redeem them for various nice things then (a) almost everyone would want them and (b) you provide a carrot to go with the stick.
It’s an interesting idea, and I’ve had an idea of extending it. Alec mentions:
These Citizenship Points could then be redeemed for positive benefits: […] or, at the extreme end, honours, peerages […]
Now, how about replacing the House of Lords with a group of 200 people who have the highest Citizenship Points from such a card ? Maybe a randomly drawn 200 from the top 500 ?
Then, if people are rewarded for being nice (not just toeing the line) then you could end up with a fairly decent bunch of folks overlooking legislation.
Of course, I’m making a lot of assumptions here, but then again it makes more sense to me than having people in power because their great^5 grandfather saved the king at the battle of somewhere-obscure.