Saturday, May 09, 2015

Two ideas for bringing about Proportional Representation

Clearly we need a proportional representation voting system.

Parliament will not deliver PR, because Parliament was elected by FPTP, and therefore most MPs will believe that FPTP is the best system in the world.

Therefore PR can only come about through intense extra-parliamentary action.

Demonstrations are ineffective, because the corporate media will not cover them if they are peaceful, and if demonstrations  are violent, they will say look at the disgraceful anarchist vandals who are trying to subvert our Parliamentary system.

Some will argue that the Trafalgar Square riots did put an end to the Poll Tax; but the poll tax was just one stupid new idea that one party was trying to introduce. FPTP is a long established method of voting, supported, to their everlasting shame, by the Labour Party as well as the Tories.

This unholy alliance is a chink in the armour of FPTP. If we can demonstrate Lab and Con both support this useless system, it will at least embarrass them.

We could demonstrate it with a regular  demonstration outside local Conservative Party and Labour Party HQs. Choose Friday afternoons, when the local MP is holding surgery (that way we can avoid kettling, by claiming that we are legitimately lobbying our MP). If the police do try to kettle us, we enter the building, and they are kettling the MP.

Demonstrate and chant outside the Labour, then march to the Conservative HQ and do the same there. Do it regularly, weekly or monthly, and spill over into out of hours, so the police have to pay overtime.

This will bring pressure on the two parties. One thing is that in safe seats (Tories in the South, Labour in the North) the weaker party, used to getting pathetic votes, and knowing that their votes are forever "wasted" will be more open to the idea that PR might be better.

At the same time, we can link it with a General Tea Break.

Every Monday morning, at 9 am, PR activists will meet up at work at the water cooler or someplace, and talk about PR for 5 minutes. That's all. Talk about the PR for 5 mins. Anyone who comes along "Hello, we are just discussing PR. What do you think about it?".
After 5 mins they get to work.

As numbers gather, the time slowly extends to 10 and 15 minutes.

If management comes up and says "Why aren't you at your stations?" the response is "We are talking about the electoral system. FPTP is useless, do you not agree? We were just going back to our work stations, but since you are here, we would like to know what you think? Do you think it will end up with a General Strike if we don't get PR soon?"

Management will get the idea, as soon as they realise it is happening in other companies. They will realise we are tooling up for a General Strike, on the QT.

This begins to put an economic cost on FPTP, and economics, in the end, is what drives policy in the Tory/Labour brain.

So, two ideas for bypassing the Parliamentary reluctance to think about changing the FPTP system. If you don't like them, put forward your better ideas.


timx said...

I don't have a better idea. I do know that before the last badly handled referendum on the subject, I took part in a demonstration in Penzance and was greeted with total apathy by the general public. It might be possible to have effective demos in major cities, but I think that anywhere else is a waste of time!

DocRichard said...

There is a difference now because 3.8 million of the general public voted Ukip and see they only get 1 MP. This is a game changer. The Right do do anger rather well. Let's see what we can do with them. I am prepared to work with UKIP on this.

timx said...

I completely agree - in fact although I disagree profoundly with everything they stand for, I do believe they have as much right to fair elections as anybody else. In view of the 'votes per MP' figures, I would have thought that even the Labour party might be sympathetic!