Government quality and government selection

[M]en err in two ways, either by ignorance or by malice.

Francesco Guicciardini, Dialogue on the Government of Florence

A model of government quality and government selection mechanism quality

The two chief desirable characteristics of government are

  • representativity (r): the government is representative when its efforts are aimed at promoting the general interests (rather than personal or narrow interests), and
  • competence (c): the government is competent when it is able to enact effective policy in accordance with its aims.

A representative, competent government enacts policy that effectively promotes the general interest.

Modeled in this way, the quality of a government is a function of its representativity and its competence, q = q(r,c), increasing in both arguments (e.g., q(r,c) = r c). The quality of a mechanism for selecting a government is measured by its tendency to produce high-quality governments.
Continue reading