Good point. The UK system has more than its fair share of lawyers and is among the world's most adversarial, a characteristic that the media encourages.

Rhetorical flourishes, staying 'on message', and an easiness with confrontation seem to count most in our system. Poor technical knowledge is worn as a badge of honour, in the belief it endears representatives to their constituents whose experience with maths and science was often hideous.

It's almost as depressing as this - 77% of Labout MPs failed a basic probability test, and the man in charge of the party's policy review, Jon Cruddas, admitted being "barely numerate":

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19801666