As the dust settles and the ramifications of the UK’s EU referendum start to become clear, one thing is certain: for many Leave voters, it was seen as an opportunity to send a message to the powers that be that they’ve had enough and want change.
Whether or not voting to leave the EU was the right way to send that message is debatable. But sent it was. And the immediate aftermath it has unleashed in Westminster is, without doubt, the most chaotic and unprecedented sequence of events I’ve seen there in my lifetime.
The Prime Minister quit immediately, essentially abdicating his responsibility to act on the will of the people. No-one credible seems even remotely keen to pick up that ball and run with it. Key members of the Leave campaign have headed for the hills. The opposition has gone into meltdown over an internal power struggle when it should be seizing the opportunity to take the lead in resolving the ensuing crisis. The government is in disarray and in the midst of a leadership election, the result of which will see a new Prime Minister that literally nobody outside of the Conservative party will have voted for.
I think its fair to say that all is not well with UK ‘democracy’. As any good disaster capitalist knows (surely an oxymoron), from the ashes of organised chaos, a phoenix of great opportunity is bound to rise. Surely then, the job of the more humane and community minded among us is to make sure it’s ours and not theirs.
Now, more than ever, we need to come together and find viable alternatives to the current way of doing things.
Followers of this blog will already be familiar with the arguments for a total overhaul of our system of government in order to make fully functioning representative democracy a reality. Briefly, a broken system cannot be expected to right itself by simply plugging away at it and hoping for the best. That system must be fixed or replaced to make it fit for purpose.
Not surprisingly, in light of the Brexit vote, the ensuing chaos in Westminster and talk of party splits and pacts, electoral reform is very much back on the agenda. And predictably, once again, the focus is on replacing First Past The Post (FPTP) with Proportional Representation (PR) as a way of making more votes matter. I have written at length elsewhere about why I feel PR is a red herring as things stand.
I fully accept that in the current climate many things are possible. But in order for an early general election to be called and fought using PR, as many are calling for, the incumbent Conservative government would have to actively change the voting system, from one that favours them massively to one that very obviously doesn’t, prior to calling an election.
Why would they do that? It’s just not going to happen.
Once again, the focus is all in the wrong place. None Of The Above remains an essential democratic pre-requisite, and therefore the achievable, game changing, launchpad reform that the UK system of government urgently needs if it is ever to become a truly representative democracy. Those new to our campaign can read a detailed explanation of how and why this is the case here.
You can get involved by signing and sharing our petition and by following/subscribing via these social media links:
We live in interesting times, certainly. No-one really knows what’s round the corner. But if we keep talking to each other about solutions and come together to implement them, we just might be able to push things forward for the betterment of all of us. Here’s hoping!
Onwards & upwards!