Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the tag “polarisation”

The Crisis of Indirect Democracy and its Consequences

Indirect democracy is a fragile child. In effect we say we (“democratically”) elect representatives to a body that then “does governing for us”. This is in stark contrast to direct democracy – which in its most extreme state has everybody having a vote on everything.

Parliaments should be shining examples of indirect democracy at work. They consist of “representatives”, not mandated delegates, who collectively form a body that should be recognised as “representative”. Their legitimacy depends, I believe, on three factors.

  • Whether elections to the parliament are recognised as “free and fair”
  • Whether the resulting parliament is recognised as “representative”
  • Whether the parliament through its collective actions and the actions of its members retains the “respect of the people”.

In the UK, I think we are, to a degree, failing on all three of the above. Read more…

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The Uncomfortable Coalition

Asked if she [Yvette Cooper] was worried if the party could split if he [Jeremy Corbyn] wins, she said: “I am, because I’m worried what’s happening at the moment, that the party does seem to be polarising between the different extremes and I don’t think that is the right thing to do.

“Partly, we want to hold our party together in order to win. Divided parties don’t win, but it’s actually much more than that. I just don’t think the extremes of the party are the right place to be and are true to our values and are true to the things we need to do to change the country for the future.”
BBC News Website 20 August 2015 : Labour Party could split under Jeremy Corbyn, Yvette Cooper says

It is (or was) of course open to someone to put themselves forward as a candidate not at the extremes. The fact that the centre appears vacant possibly says something about “Labour” in the 21st century.

Read more…

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