I’m not sure if this is a discussion or a project yet. It was inspired by @mattpointblank saying he wanted to have a meeting to try to ‘do something’ about the general election but I’m not sure we’ve really got time to DO anything very substantial now. In many ways, the strength of the Conservative Party which got us into Brexit, by accident or design, is a symptom rather than the disease. Democracy isn’t working properly. I hope we can use this mess as motivation.
I’d like to do some root cause analysis and see if there is general agreement, so we can start looking for solutions. “If not us, then who?” etc. As a semi-outsider, I’m rather proud of Birmingham’s radical, liberal, democratic traditions. I’ll try to make in non-party-political which should be easy because I don’t like everything about any of the parties. Please give me some feedback, even if it is just to say you agree or disagree.
First-past-the-post voting is perfectly adequate on simple issues with only 2 options when there is a clear winner. A split decision means the argument continues. FPTP is a proxy system for a battle. 2 teams who care about the issue turn up at the field of battle, see which is biggest and the small army go home defeated, without a drop of blood being spilled. This is not modern UK politics. There are several tribes who seem incapable of co-operation. Most of the electorate don’t turn up because they don’t trust any of them. It is incredibly difficult to start a new, better party because people are afraid of wasting their vote. The last 2 referendums in the UK have been on complex issues with options that were not offered as alternatives.
Lie to us. They are not held to account for dishonesty or for their voting records. We can’t tell the good politicians from the bad ones because everyone gets tarred with the same brush. The worst have even stopped resigning on matters of honour.
Are biased. They lie to us and fail to hold politicians to account when they lie or act against the public interest. George Obsbourne recently made a statement that he can do more to help the Conservative Party as the editorof a London evening newspaper than he can as a back-bench MP.
We need journalists to be held to higher professional standards for news articles that are misleading, without giving politicians control of the media. We need to know the reliability of everything we read in serious news sources, as we would trust a Chartered Surveyor to say if our house might fall down.
Half of the electorate are below average intelligence. There is a huge divide in opinion between graduates who have been taught critical thinking and the rest, bringing many of us to question if democracy is doomed.
We need schools to teach children to evaluate the trustworthiness of their sources of information and the powerful to be prevented from manipulating them.
Distributed Power & Innovation
We are leaving the EU because people felt bullied. Scotland want to leave the UK. Some of us are sick of all decisions being made primarily for London’s benefit. I see no evidence that politicians come up with the best innovative ideas that we should vote on. We need better political communication and democratic power distribution networks.
Have I missed anything? Have I gone too far anywhere? I think our ‘wider, local’ community has something to contribute at the local level which might flow up. Why can’t new politics start from a hub in the centre of the wheel?