Movement For Active Democracy

2010-12-02

My Dad sent me this link to the Movement for Active Democracy website. Below is my response to my Dad explaining my own views.

I got to the fourth video and couldn’t will myself to go any further. What he says souds idealistic, but implementing it would be somewhat harder than he seems to think. Also, I think I disagree with his premise that the public has no say as it stands at the moment.

For e.g. we have a hung parliament now because the public couldn’t agree on any one party enough to push them past the post (on our “archaic” system). So, if proportional representation were used to it’s fullest degree of capability and the same set of votes were cast, I envisage that all three main parties would have had an equal standing and a bunch of racist parties snapping at their heels.

PR is great for isolationist parties because they don’t need to win outright anywhere and yet still get a few people as MPs; once they have a member in parliament they can tout how well they’ve performed standing up for the rights of the everyman and gain more votes, more MPs, leading in a viscious downward spiral towards getting enough MPs to be able to take us to 1984!

As it stands, First Past The Post is keeping the extreme-right parties under control.

And then there’s his idea that the Swiss have which involves getting together a bunch of your mates and forcing referenda. In theory that sounds great, but if an organised group get ahold of enough people who tow-the-line regularly then they can consistently force expensive referenda for every legislation conceived. This will prevent government from functioning completely, and the offending group would be able to hold the country to ransom until they get their own way.

If that “way” is for them to be voted into power, then when the public get fed up with the constant lack of progress they might decide to vote for this group just to get something, anything, done! And that could lead to 1939-45 all over again!

I think through that thought process I’ve pretty much convinced myself that our current system is the best for us.