How to fix our political ‘ill-sculpted’ democracy

MPs have been too often sounding hopelessly lost. Gone are the years when we young MPs could unite as one MP with the powerful authority of our party and with our constituents’ trust to…

How to fix our political ‘ill-sculpted’ democracy

MPs have been too often sounding hopelessly lost.

Gone are the years when we young MPs could unite as one MP with the powerful authority of our party and with our constituents’ trust to raise expectations, and then stick to them and people voted with us.

MPs like Chris Leslie, Emma Reynolds, Helen Goodman, Stephen Hammond, Luciana Berger, Chuka Umunna, Lucy Powell, Clive Lewis, Conor Burns, Barry Gardiner, Paul Sweeney, Sarah Jones, Johnny Mercer, Anna Soubry, Harriett Baldwin, Nusrat Ghani, Chris Leslie, Tom Watson and Rosie Duffield — whose names still resonate in our neck of the woods — rose together to end two decades of the Conservatives and UKIP tag team politics by bringing back a real proportional representation system in 2005.

Together with the Lib Dems, we fought hard to create the fairest parliamentary system in the world.

Today, while trying to deal with not one but two unnecessary and deeply divisive referendums, we are trying to bring about a change in British politics which has the potential to make it fairer and fairer all the time.

Because of our so-called competence, the democratic responsibility which many once had as our career leads us to despair, the public have given us a platform to make and change things in the parliament which by chance or design should be, if the majority of MPs are re-elected, a centre-right parliament which should govern from the left.

If every Liberal Democrat vote is matched by all the Labor and nationalist MPs of our friendship groups, the combination of votes cast by Labour and Conservative voters in the last election would be enough to produce the effective parliamentary majority which our MPs felt and deserved.

Instead, we are all tussling over a single general election or coalition decision.

Corbyn’s election victory could, in theory,, take Britain from a centre-left government to one which is right-wing, or even so-called “hard-left”. Labour should in theory have, or at least should be allowed to have, all the Parliamentary seats in the country.

But “hard-left” politics cannot deliver what the Scottish National Party and Greens want. What we are doing is pushing Corbyn’s Labour Party back to the left by claiming the SNP’s seats.

And those seats we don’t get hold of as Scottish National MPs — Scottish Green and Welsh Lab MPs — have consistently voted with the UK Labour Party in a veto vote for Climate Change Action and further action on the Trident nuclear deterrent that the Greens demanded.

What drives me to fight is not Corbyn’s argument against austerity — but the perfect hypocrisy of the Labour Party, the SNP and Labour MPs who voted for austerity austerity, then walked away from their mission of ending it.

The SNP and Labour cannot be taken for granted. They know it and so do we. What’s clear is that the Green Party and Labour MPs are bringing a progressive alternative to the tired tired parties.

And, if you would like to share that view with Labour, go and do so. Your vote in this election is worth anything — but a rotten Labour vote is worth significantly less.

British voters like reasoned argument. They like serious defence of long-term economic or fiscal reform — which most people expect from any serious party.

So, this is going to be a fight. Prepare the workers’ movement, stand-by the trade unions for support and mobilise your comrades on the street who may already have voted Conservative or Ukip and use your voice to persuade them to vote Green or Labour and turn this ideological one-upmanship into a positive positive fight against the elite neoliberal policies of all three political parties.

There are so many things to do, of course. Especially since the last election, looking for those different ways to take down the powers that benefit the few and the privileged few at the expense of the many has become a requirement.

And, think of those 200+ young people I mention earlier who will grow up thinking the Westminster system could not be improved, and take it upon themselves to do what they can so that the system is different.

Then imagine 100 plus years from now how it will all have changed.

Jude Coyle is the Green Party’s Shadow Minister for the Office of Students.

Leave a Comment