People in general have little or no interest in politics, as they feel that they have been completely excluded from all decision-making processes, and their only choice now – which comes infrequently – is to vote for the least of two or three evils. They know that the democratic process has been usurped, but have no way of reclaiming what is rightfully theirs. This is all about changing all that!
We must put the people in the navigator’s seat!
1. The people in any constituency must be able to choose their own candidate.
At the moment, each party will select a candidate for each constituency, and the voters have no say in the matter – they are excluded from the start.
We need a selection process, whereby before the election proper, the people themselves decide who they want to represent them. If a party has a pressing need to get a particular person back into Parliament, it has to ask all of the constituencies if they are willing to accept this person as a candidate, and explain why. If no constituency is prepared to take that person on, he/she does not get elected – period.
2. The MP must become the mouthpiece of his/her constituents.
At present, an MP is only a representative, and ignores what constituents actually want. This must change!
We need a system that tracks parliamentary proceedings in real time, and communicates back to the constituency. There, anyone eligible who wishes can take part in a process that will form a majority opinion on any current subject. This opinion is constantly updated, and fed back to the MP. The MP is then able to vote in accordance with the majority wishes of his/her constituents, without having to ask them.
3. The function of the Party Whip must change, or disappear completely.
There must be no coercion from above as to which way an MP must vote – only instruction from below.
Logically this would result in all votes being “Free Votes”, which is as it should be.
This would also mean that the distinction between ‘Government’ and ‘Opposition’ disappears – a further pluspoint!
4. The ‘Recall’ function puts power back in the hands of the people. We need it!
If an MP does not live up to expectations, he/she should be recalled as the result of a constituents’ decision.
The replacement would logically be the person who came next in line in the selection process for candidates, but would be for the constituents to decide.
The above process should be freely accessible to all members of a constituency if they choose to take part. There shall be no requirement for party membership, and I recommend that there is no requirement for voting age. After all, how do we convey to our youngsters that they can take part in democracy, and that their voice will be heard? (An “age weighting” to their opinions can always be applied if proved to be necessary).
The reason for this to be open to all should be obvious enough – we want all other parties to follow this lead as fast as possible!
If this cleanup process leads to the demise of political parties as such, I shall weep no tears for them. They are, in fact, totally unnecessary, and furthermore they have always been an impediment to democracy.
We have the technology to make such a system workable.
With the achievement of George Galloway in Bradford West, we have the momentum.
With the Respect Party, we have the vehicle to make this all happen.
The Iron is Hot – Strike Now!