Archive for February, 2020

Ending the two party system @johnmcdonnellMP

February 12, 2020

I wrote this withe MP’s in mind but it might be better introduced with the House of Lords, first.

There really is no justification for that assembly’s membership in its present form. A Senate, based on the principle outlined below, should be quite easy to set up and implement. It could, if it worked as well as I believe it would, enable its introduction into the Commons,  Ending the two party system

I live in Wigan and Leigh. We have three parliamentary constituencies: Wigan, Makerfield and Leigh. All safe seats, prior to the last election and Brexit. Each had a female candidate parachuted in by the NEC, because of this.

Each, at the last election, lost 5000 votes to the Brexit Party, so Leigh became Tory by default. It’ll probably return to Labour, if Brexit happens.
The main point is my vote counts for nothing.
If my MP were a dud, she’d still get in. The same applies in many constituemcies and even in those swing constituencies, where a few voters can get rid of a bad MP, their only option may be to let another bad MP in, because we have a two party system. A system where voter wishes count very little compared to the wishes of those who can bribe MP’s to pass the Laws they favour.
The system is corrupt and only pays a token respect to democracy.
The Brexit farce has shown this in its ugliest fashion. The only way in which my vote counts is in a referendum but Parliament has now denied me this, claiming referenda are only advisory and can be ignored.
Whilst voting is based on where your house is, we’ll persist with this corrupt two party system.
We may as well have each party toss a coin to decide which benches they sit on, who’ll be sat on them and who’ll be our dictator for the next 5 years.

I propose a better way than this, which gets rid of the two party system, ends the power of lobbyists (and their alleged importance) and reduces the power of the Media.
I propose having constituencies based on common interests, instead of geography.
Any group which can muster about 100,000 members (600 seats gives us the 60 million population) could be a constituency. Each constituency would have to achieve accreditation from the Electoral Commission. Each constituency would have to create its own rulebook, collect its own subscriptions (for running costs), decide on its own candidate selection/election methods. Each constituency would have to register and check the validity of its own members against the electoral register.
How would this work?                                                                                                                     Any voter could choose to register with any one constituency. It could be related to a trade, or profession. It could be based on an interest in football, motherhood, or any amalgamated groups. Suppose you were a teacher, you might register with an educational group. You could even choose to belong to one of the present political parties, which could, if it had enough members split into multiple sub groups. Suppose you disagreed with the running of your chosen group, you could apply to another group, in which you have an interest. The new group would be responsible for switching your membership details just as easily as you can now switch bank accounts.
Any failure to properly administer its membership registration could lead to their MP being red-carded for 3 months: Long enough for their membership numbers to take a decent hit.
Instead of one political party choosing the national Leader and his/her cabinet, the whole house would be free to choose them, as was originally intended and as The Speaker still is. The choice of Ministers might still be in the hands of the elected P.M. but the PM would have a choice of MP’s with a wide range of experiences and interests to draw upon and any excessive cronyism would be quickly apparent. Without Party Politics to deliver blind support, any PM would have to be mindful of majority support on all and any issue. He/She would have to truly represent the wishes of the Nation and not merely be representative of it.
At present Lobbyists not only try to buy MP’s, with “perfectly legal” donations and freebies e.g free trips to Israel. (so long as they are declared.) but they are invited to “give evidence” to House Committees, so MP’s (who’ve no real life experience) can gain from their specialist knowledge. That woold no longer be necessary, as there should be MP’s, with relevant experience, to advise the House and act as advocates for their constituencies’ interests.

As Society changes Interests and their group sizes would change and their would be less tendency to fossilise traditional alliances.
The problems would arise from attempts to stabilise Government, i.e. reduce the need, for those in power to pay attention to the demands of different factions. E.g by setting up fixed terms of tenure for PM’s such as fixed terms of office. There would have to be a procedure for MP’s to block this tendency to gather power into the hands of any one group (A petition to the Monarch?).

While we’re at it, why not replace the House of Lords with a similar set-up? A second house is useful as a brake on impetuous legislation. The analogy being of a cow’s cud-chewing; allowing a fresh set of minds to pick up points that were missed or glossed over in the original. Rather than a House of Lords, I suppose we could make it into a Senate. Senators would also have constituencies to nominate them but would be from groups outside those in the House of Commons (House of Delegates?). There will be those who don’t want to be associated with the 600 MP constituencies and would prefer a separate voice. Such groups would be registered with the Electoral Commission, who could then select 600 to propose their candidates for Senator, based on Membership size. By their nature, they would tend to oppose and counter any overly enthusiastic wishes of the Commons.
Overall, we have to have a Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? The Queen is unelected and there are many Republicans, who would replace her with a Politician. I would oppose that. A President, or Chancellor, or grand Vizier can be replaced too easily by a political puppet, or displaced as Bismarck was. A Monarch can only be legally replaced, by his/her next in line. As custodian of the Nation, The Monarch would have no say on policy, only on whatever constitutional rules were drawn up. The Monarch would be free to interpret the intention of the constitution as he/she felt best without being later held to that interpretation. I’m thinking here of how the US constitution held “the right to bear arms” (being meant as a safeguard against a venal Government forcing its will on an unarmed civilian population) has been perverted into a justification for privately armed militia and out of control mass shootings, re-inforced by precedents set by previous judges under different social conditions. The Monarch would be able to call on private army units (a Praetorian guard with limited weaponry (no need to set the scene for Civil War)) and Civil Police to arrest any politician/s seeking to override the constitution.