Draft – Ignore
The Short Parliament May 7th 2020. In every constituency there will be one widely supported candidate with a simple mandate:
- Bring in a system or laws to enable a total reform of the UK voting system
- When achieved dissolve parliament and a organise an election under the new electoral system.
Current UK Parliamentary System
The current UK political system is not ‘fit for purpose’. The system was evolved to manage an Empire spanning 25% of the world’s real estate and dominating 50% 0f the world’s trade, backed up by the guns of the Royal Navy. Control was, and is, centralised in the centre of London. Parliament, the Civil Service and the City made, and make, decisions through a number of informal networks, within a small geographic area of the capital.
The world has changed. Technology, such as the internet have changed the world works. Business is now global and large corporations mingle with the traditional City institutions to influence politicians. Media, predominately owned by non-UK residents, control the political debate.
Not fit for Purpose
The current political system is clearly not suitable for a modern day country. Government is elected by a minority, (approximately a third), of the electorate and then acts as if they have a mandate from the entire population – quite close to a virtual dictatorship. The UK is the most centralised country in Europe. Only in Britain could a civil servant, based in Westminster, be making a decision, on their spreadsheet, on whether my council will get a grant to pick up my rubbish weekly or fortnightly.
We have short-term ministers making short-term decisions which is costly, destructive decisions. Their concern as much to do with their career progression, their media image rather than what is in the long-term interest of the electorate and the country. Health, education, infrastructure, energy, security and communities suffer from this poor process.
And then look at Parliament itself – the kinder garden behaviour of Prime Minister’s Question Time. The antiquated ‘Ayes to the Right’, ‘Nayes to the Left’ voting system. The gentlemen’s club procedures and games are embarrassing.
Why the Conservatives will win the 2020 election
If nothing is done then the Conservatives will easily win the next election. For the following reasons:
- they will have had their punch up over Europe well before 2020
- they are redrawing the constituency boundaries to the Conservative’s benefit
- the newly introduced individual voter registration will lose at least one million voters – most of whom will not be Conservative voters
- the new trade union laws will cut around £6 million of the Labour Party’s finances
- corporates, hedge funds and much of the media will back them
- the conflict within Labour will still be dragging on and exploited.
What needs to be done
An alliance needs to be made
It is in the interest of all the political parties, except the Conservatives, to change the political system. Therefore, all the following and more should be talking:
- those in the Labour Party supporting Jeremy Corbyn
- supporters of Jeremy Corbyn not in the Labour Party
- those in the Labour Party not supporting Jeremy Corbyn
- the Green Party
- the LibDems
- Plaid Cymry
- the Woman’s Party
- those disillusioned with politics
- campaigners for the NHS etc
- 38 degrees
- organisations, such as the Fabians, Compass etc
I’m not sure if the SNP will join as they benefit in the First Past the Post system at present.
We should work with UKIP on this as it is in their interest, but I worry that they will hi-jack the campaign.
I don’t feel qualified to talk about the Northern Irish parties.
An election reform working party/ forum
This will be needed to decide the new parliamentary structure. I think that two things need to be considered:
- electoral reform
- decentralisation of government, particularly in England.
A legal forum
There needs to be a group of legal experts to identify what laws need to be changed to allow a new parliamentary system to be introduced. They also need to look at ways of anticipating the potential blocks to the proposal. One obvious law that needs to be revoked is the law fixing the date of an election.
Liaison with the House of Lords
It would be impracticable to reform the House of Commons and the House of Lords at the same time. Therefore, work needs to be done with the active members of the House of Lords to gain support to prevent blockages.
A group would need to be set up to deal with the media.
This is winnable. An alliance could hammer out the terms of a new electoral system, take over parliament just for this one purpose, and then hold a new election under the new system.