Lets call time on the tribal dance

I’m sick and tired of the childish tribalism in British politics, its about time we grew up and adopted a less confrontational system. I believe we need a more representative system that forces cooperation between parties, not the one we have now which promotes fighting against each other.

The house of commons sums up what I hate about British politics, one group of people sits on one side, whilst the rest sit opposite and oppose everything. I’m right, you’re wrong, you say this, therefore I must disagree. And the main attraction, Prime Minister’s questions, is a freak show of goons shouting, arguing and carrying on like children at a party with too much sugar and e numbers. Its embarrassing. It sets a really bad example, its almost like the louder, more obnoxious and more unreasonable you are the more qualified you are to be a politician. Debate is healthy, but only when it is a proper debate where all sides respect each other and act like adults. Is it any wonder that we have such a divided nation at the moment? We’re encouraged to take sides and no quarter is given.

We need a system that forces cooperation and in my opinion the answer in Proportional Representation. To start with, PR is a much fairer way of electing representatives, each vote counts and the country would actually get what it voted for. Inevitably it would lead to a more diverse range of parties winning seats too, and this would mean less chance of overall majorities, and a much higher likelihood of coalition governments, meaning forced cooperation and the country’s views being better represented by those in power. No overall majorities would also mean the extremes at either end of parties couldn’t get there way because cooperation would mean that a consensus view would have to be found, where a more moderate and sensible course of action is more likely to prevail.

Don’t believe the main parties when they tell you PR is bad because it causes weak government. Its crap. Their interest is in first past the post because it maintains their position at the top of the system, its a position forged from self interest not the peoples. The most recent coalition in British politics was obviously the Conservative Liberal Democrat one of the last government, was it unstable and un able to govern? No. The fact is that both parties had to cooperate and compromise, most commentators predicted that it would be a mess that wouldn’t last the term, but it did, and without any major fractures to threaten it. What did happen is that the extremes of each party were kept in check by the other side and we got a better government for it. I accept that many models of PR don’t allow for the constituency link with MP’s, but I’m sure a way could be found, we’re bright people, and with stronger devolution and more accountability locally, this wouldn’t matter so much.

The recent EU referendum has split the country, almost down the middle, band it has also showed the major parties are both deeply divided and unable to deal with issues that cut across part lines. Effectively there are two Tory Parties, the right wing Eurosceptic one, and the more centrist liberal one. These two groups share many values and indeed have much in common, however the fact is that the viciousness displayed throughout the campaign highlighted the divisions that existed before and will exist after. PR would allow for a split. One of the reasons that people who don’t really fit in a party still join, is because they want power, and in the first past the post system, nine times out of ten only one party is in power. A split in party would allow MPs the breathing space to be able to act more on their convictions and stand for what they actually believe, and PR would allow coalitions to be formed where common ground could be united.

Politics is too tribal, and I think the public are getting tired of it. The way politicians conduct themselves is important, they are asking us to trust them to make decisions which are in our best interests, but more often than not they act in a way that makes you think they are in it for the laugh, like its all a big game where points are scored for how well you can wind the opposition up. So lets end the tribal dance and work together to make politics work for us.