Representative Democracy may be considered a political meritocracy. Politicians are chosen by their party and, in theory, win elections based on their merit. The best of them gain the support of their peers to become leaders and senior figures. Long standing and experienced politicians may be appointed to the House of Lords.
All good stuff on the face of it. But being good at one thing, indeed many things, doesn't make you good at everything, and politics is a vastly diverse subject. No one person is likely able to master all of it. In reality meritocracy is more complicated and corruptible than the ideal:
- How does the old boy network effect who is chosen to become a candidate?
- Does the electorate vote for politicians or parties; do they judge the candidate effectively?
- Does the best funded or the most capable candidate/party, win?
- Can students of Machiavelli play the system and gain power?
- Are Honours given fairly or is there bias in appointments to the Lords?
- If meritocracy was perfect, wouldn't we be able to find the single best candidate to make decisions for us (someone the ancient Greeks called the aristoi, root of the word aristocrat)?
Though imperfect, I think the current political meritocracy needs to be a key element in the Interactive Democracy system because we need politicians to formulate laws, man committees, debate proposals, form governments and act in opposition. ID just allows public sentiment to flow into this process and check the results of it.
Interactive Democracy adds a meritocracy of ideas to the meritocracy of politicians, where the best proposals can jump through hurdles of debate and ballot to become policy.