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The Great Election Con Trick

This week provided a perfect example of why we need political renewal in the UK.

We have seen the Conservatives split down the middle over the sacking of Suella Braverman, and the Labour Party similarly split over the vote on a ceasefire/humanitarian pause in Gaza. And these are largely both splits down the middle; centre-right vs right in the case of the Conservatives and left-vs centre-left for Labour.

Between now and the General Election these divisions will settle down, not because they no longer exist, but because all sides know that splits are political suicide. For the voter, whatever our view, this is basically a confidence trick.

I will use my views as an example. I want to vote for a genuinely One Nationist party, one that balances the need for fiscal responsibility, with a system of government that obsesses with creating opportunity for all and takers a long term view of how to reduce inequality by raising aspirations and spreading opportunity across the whole country. What I don't want is the form of heartless Government that we have seen over the last few years.

If this week's Cabinet reshuffle has seen a genuine drift towards the centre for the Conservatives and they write a genuinely One Nationist Conservative manifesto, can I guarantee that it will be delivered if the Conservatives stay in power? Or can I assume that post election the same right vs centre battle will resume and there is a likelihood of another right-wing takeover? The evidence of the last 30 years tells me that the latter is more likely. When I cast my vote, don't I deserve to vote for a party that I know has beliefs close to my own, with an assurance that it is genuinely what the majority of its representatives stand for?

Whilst I have used my own political views here, this is true of every political belief, whether left, right or centre? Shouldn't a right wing libertarian be able to vote for a libertarian party, rather than a Conservative Party that they hope will drift back towards their viewpoint? Shouldn't a socialist be able to vote for a socialist party, rather than hope that the current centre-ground position of the Labour Party is subjected to a post-election rethink?

The only way to a more honest vote is through Proportional Representation. One of the inevitables of PR is a growth in the number of political parties, because, if they get a reasonable enough number of votes there is a good chance that a party with a specific view will win seats and have a political voice (whether that is in power or in opposition).


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