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Break the Apathy

My good friend Paul Booker responded to an earlier Blog.  https://thehiddenedge.wordpress.com/2009/07/18/pondering-the-passion.  He declared that the Labour Party, TUC and cooperative movements have lost their way as they are no longer needed in the new millennium.  That may well be true but his is just one version of vision and there may be others with a different view.

What stuck me was how similar many of the minority parties are, each with its own specific agenda.  Moreover, how disunited they are.  After a long old chat with the Green Party representative I asked him why the party doesn’t link up with the Lib Dems?  Ops!  I might have just lit a match in order to blow up the Houses of Parliament! He categorically stated that the Green Party would not coexist with the Lib Dems just to prop their election chances, as much as they (The Lib Dems) would like this to be so.

And there I was considering, in my liberal (small l) fashion how compromise would help the Greens to achieve their agenda.  Their current political standing in the government is somewhat short of irrelevant.  Later, I spent quite some time studying a Socialist Party of GB newsletter.  I recognised a significant correlation between this party’s’ stated beliefs and my own.  However, when I got to the declaration of principles, it stated … “The Socialist Party of Great Britain enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties”

Why would these minority parties not wish to coalesce?

Here is my view.  Is it possible to be a social capitalist?  I do believe it is and for those really interested I consider myself as a Eudaemonist – but I digress.  We already have at least, two middle of the road parties, adding more can only further dumb down the voice of the electorate.  Polls tell us that many are unhappy with the current Labour government but none too happy with the alternative Conservative.  There is too little to differentiate the two other than the individual personalities within.  Their politics are so middle of the road that is has become bland and the electorate has become bored.  What have they to argue about; nothing except for petty’s sake? We pay dear taxes to afford them that privilege.  When we vote in the middle of the road, we get mediocre politics.

1342467657-tolpuddle-martyrs-festival-2012-underway-tolpuddle_1336813Middle of the road politics should not be confused with the middle path.  Since neither extremes of socialism nor capitalism work because of human nature, the middle path offers an alternative.  If the country wants the best from each system; accepting consumerism whilst employing ethics, stoics and virtues then there needs to be representatives in Westminster that can articulate the diverse opinions of the people.  What’s more, if every vote counted, the electorate may well be more disposed to selecting a voice; the one that it believed in.  And so to proportional representation.

The Labour government promised a referendum on how we elect our MPs, when it came to power in 1997. We are still waiting.  In 2005 Labour got a massive majority in the House of Commons despite six out of ten people voting against them.  Moreover only 48% of the voting population actually did.  That means this massive majority in Government represents, at best, 22% of the total voting population. If you think this is unjust and want to add your voice for change; try these links:

http://vote4change.bluestatedigital.com and www.fairvotesfordorset.org.uk

Mmm!  Of course proportional representation could lead to a hung parliament at the next election.  So what of a coalition vision for 21st century politics? Or would a coalition be no better than the middle of the road politics as we currently have?  I hope I’ve offered some food for thought – please feel free to vocalise!  Here’s One Voice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX7ktZF6U4Q

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4 Comments »

  1. Hi Laura,

    Since watching the delightful Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister as a child, I have been long convinced that governing the country should be more akin to jury service, with ramdomly selected participants. There would be no political parties and they would of course be advised by the civil servants, who I’m sure are nothing like Sir Humphrey and are the ‘prefessionals’ of government. This way at least a cross-section of the people would be represented and have their views expressed, which certainly does not occur now.
    You could even take it a step further and follow the scheme in the fantasy book I’m reading, where government is undertaken by earnest teenagers, who then grow up and having served their community, go on to spend the remainder of their lives pursuing their own interests.
    What do you think? It might raise the ‘green’ agenda some?
    Anne x

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  2. Laura,
    I’m sure you were struck rather than stuck! I’ve never known you to be stuck with anything other than putting up with me!!
    Where does one start? Firstly proportional representation has never worked anywhere to drive an economy forward to its optimum potential and that should be the raison d’etre of any government, as any improvement with social provision can only come from economic growth.
    As a “card carrying” member of the Conservative Party I would prefer a Labour or Liberal government than a Lib/lab pact which would never change anything and change is renewal, a pre-requisite for survival in this exponentially changing world! At least with Labour they have taken the decisions to change and had their chances and the voters will either bless them for their decisions or condemn them to history!
    Personally though, I am convinced that with technology and the ability for everyone to vote from home that local politics should be independent with no political party involved. I believe in a little thing called I.O.P.E.E. where people are “involved”, they get to “own” the situation, they then obtain “pride” in their ability to judge and make decisions which ensures “excellence of execution” this gives confidence to “renew” more things and we grow. People should be able to vote on what matters to them in their local 10,000 household area and the Civil Servants should execute the wishes of the majority. Simplify politics and more people will get involved and we will have things happening in our local communities that we all want and not the stupid “waste of money” schemes that we see all too often at the moment.
    I am sure that within a few decades of this local government working, it will happen nationally and things like contentious wars will be decided on a vote of all the people, we have the technology to do this in the next five minutes, it is called twitter! Individuals will once again be engaged and in real democratic control. Gordon Brown would hate such a scenario! The British people would be Great again, proud of their involvement and ability to “renew” their country!
    I have this scenario worked out in detail and will publish by end of year! I’ll run it past you and Anne first and anyone else interested with a bottle of wine!
    Regards,
    Paul

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  3. Paul hi – facinating. Can’t wait to share a bottle of red with you and Anne at Christmas. If anyone else joins in the debate we may need to invest in a couple more bottles.

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