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Has politics got the X Factor?

In a recent interview, Simon Cowell seemed quite convinced about the merits of a politics based X Factor. Now this is a nice one for Mr Cowell’s bottom line and for TV ad revenue, but do we think it will be beneficial in a wider sense?

Mr Cowell is a clever man. And he has effectively seen a ‘gap in the market’. That is the opportunity to engage people from all walks of life in debates about our nation’s many pressing issues. (And of course, he has also undoubtedly eyeballed the potential revenues from phone votes).  

I think this could be fab. Let’s hear what the public have to say on the perplexing issues of today. And let’s use a now famous format to coax them into awareness and useful debate.

I have one reservation though. And that’s we need to be careful of majority rule. One of the reasons that referenda are so infrequently used here is that they tend to return majority decisions that are not especially useful to, or considerate of, minorities (for example, rural communities).  

So, on this one, my vote is yes, as long as it’s handled with care and caution.

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