First past the post to broken
I posted a few weeks ago about Voter Blindness in the run up to the election and how we were unlikely to pick a party to vote for based upon their policies. The result really wasn’t what I expected, I thought it would be a hung parliament like last time. So for the party that won to do so by a clear amount was a bit surprising to me.
In the last month I have watched people who don’t support the Conservatives, of which I appear to follow a considerable amount of be incredibly rude. Seeing comments like ‘you’re an idiot if you vote for x’ and similar are, well, quite hateful in a lot of ways.
Last night I got fed up of the vitriol that was overflowing. People, we have a right to choose, that is the point of a democracy. Just as you are entitled to your views on who to vote for, I am entitled to mine. It’s just that my beliefs are different than yours. Anyone would think I was voting for Hitler the way some people spoke.
The problem isn’t really who I voted for, or who you voted for. You voted, as did I, which is good. It’s just that so many people are now rather angry. The person they didn’t want to win, won. It’s an unfortunate side effect of democracy, some people are going to be unhappy. It’s probably a bit better than a dictatorship, communism or, well Russia.
The problem as I see it, is that no party was a particularly good choice. There was no ‘win’ whoever you voted for. Yes, I did vote for the winning party, but I had my beliefs and stuck to them.
Now I see all the major leaders have resigned the leadership of their parties and some are saying the Lib Dems are finished. All they’ll do, is vote in someone else to lead the parties and they’ll carry on with the same views they’ve had before.
I however, have got a suggestion. It’s a bit off the wall, but please, hear me out then decide if I’m nuts.
Instead of firmly held beliefs that are ingrained in each party, why don’t they look at how out of date our country is. Our political and voting systems were developed so long ago I would suggest they are no longer fit for purpose. First past the post gets us nowhere, and should be consigned to Formula One and horse racing. Not the leadership of our country.
Embrace the digital age. I don’t mean by introducing electronic voting – although that would go a long way towards nail biting results – you’d know minutes after polls closed what the result was and you may even get a few more millennials voting.
No, I mean embrace our digital culture. The industry I work within knows how to design and build products and services – and get them working with some considerable profits. The knowledge that we have to achieve this is transferable. So why aren’t we transferring it? Many of our services are falling into decay and won’t hold up for much longer. Yet the people who run them are neither experienced in the area they are running, nor experienced in running anything successfully except their political campaign.
We need to employ non-political CEOs and Chairpeople to run our services. Politicians are only in power for 5 years before everything changes again. How can you reasonably change anything significant like the NHS in 5 years? You can’t. You just start to make some kind of progress and it disappears again. Run it like it’s a FTSE100 business, with shareholders (us, the public) and stop passing laws that mess with it (regardless of which party is in power).
Likewise, our economy, capitalism is leading to the rich getting richer, and the poor getting poorer. By its very definition, that’s what capitalism actually is. Yes, it sucks, I completely agree. To fix it, there has to be more than just people waving around ‘mansion tax’ as a fix. You need to almost start again. Employ academics and CEOs who know what they’re doing, and let them change things.
Yes, the welfare state is pretty screwed, but in a lot of respects we’re a lot better off than some countries around the world. For all the things we complain about, there are countries thinking we never had it so easy. I feel really quite lucky to live in the UK. I don’t actually want to leave. I like it here.
So instead of electing a new leader of a political party. Why not look at your party and think, ‘can we do better?’ I don’t even think it should be limited to those who did poorly in the election. I think the Conservatives need to embrace the new as well. The party who recruits people into it that can run the services in this country like they need to be run, and who listens to the people to define its approach is one that could make a really positive change to this country. So why not start now?