Friday, February 23, 2007

Political Ideals

I am not a politician and I have no real desire to be one... but I've been thinking a lot about politics lately because somebody close to me is considering standing for a political party at the next District Council Election.

They are probably going to stand for a Party I have no love of and certainly do not trust... and so comes the question - do I vote for the person despite the resentment I feel for the institution they represent. It's a hard choice and I don't yet know which way I will jump (I trust the person implicitly, but I in no way wish to be seen as endorsing a political party. Yes you can say nobody will know, however I will know... and that is enough.)

It brings me back to the old dilemma that I am trapped within. Being a slightly liberal leftist puts me in a position where I can't in good conscience vote for anyone in the area I live. The Conservatives, New "Labour" and the Liberal Democrats are all economically right wing. Incidentally, if you are American and reading this then I'm apparently classed as borderline strong democrat/socialist.

If I could spearhead a bloodless coup, a glorious revolution where the slate was wiped clean and we started all over again... and I had the power to create any political system I pleased, I would go for something like the following:

A series of elections take place to create a forum of independent representatives... no parties, no chief whips. The politicians would only be allowed to be governed by private conscience and the interests of their own constituency... they would not be answerable to a party line.

The forum would then meet and members would nominate, second and vote a maximum of say five, potential Prime Ministerial candidates. The five names would be put to the public (each with their own personal manifesto) and voted on in a second round.

The New Prime Minister would take office and interview potential cabinet ministers, based on their skills and experience. The cabinet team would build a framework of policies but would in know way have the authority to force an entire body to vote in accordance with their views (as is currently the case in the Party system). Any member could propose policy. Each issue would stand or fall on it's merit in the eyes of the entire assembly. The system I propose at heart would reflect a political system resembling Camelot, each member being equal. In fact I'd even go as far as to suggest meeting away from Westminster in a circular building that resembled the Round Table. It would avoid the notion that MP's have to oppose one another just because they sit facing each other in opposition.

It is a system that would probably never see the light of day. It is like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas. It's probably as close to a personal ideal as I'm going to get. I wonder how the experts would interpret my political persuasion on the basis of those ideas. If you have any comments or suggestions I'd love to hear them.

Dare I put this to a Downing Street petition? I'm seriously open to persuasion on that. What do you think?

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