After a discussion this week with a THA supporter, who believes that the introduction of a system of PR is a priority as it would encourage new parties to form, I was still not persuaded from my view that the reform of our governance was far more important than tinkering with our electoral voting system. It is of course the aim of our six demands to radically reform our system of governance centred on the principle of giving the people real power none of which a system of PR addresses.
Two weeks ago, I explained why electoral reforms, such as PR, would not give us the changes necessary to make our politicians our servants rather than our masters.
During our conversation I pointed out how in our life time no new party had cut through and made a successful contribution in Westminster and even if PR did see a new party grace the green benches, they would still be restricted by the same Westminster system and thus swimming in the same corrupt cesspit with the people still not having one ounce of real power to control their politicians or government. Further to this, I suggested, it would not take long for a new party to turn native as unfortunately UKIP proved albeit in Brussels rather than Westminster.
I pointed out that THA, first and foremost, had to become a grassroots movement to bring direct pressure on politicians and, while accepting support from any individual, organisation or political entity, the movement would drift into obscurity if it became divorced from the grassroots and relied purely on the ‘Establishment’ for its promotion and implementation.
Somehow the discussion raised an analogy with the Protestant religion in this country with the point being raised as to who had tried to keep the C of E on the straight and narrow as it developed into a top-down organisation which has drifted into the socially liberal and woke institution it is today.
The answer is that little resistance came from the grass roots as they simply parted company from the main body and set up new Christian Churches such as Adventists, Anabaptists, Baptists, Calvinist/Reformed, Lutherans, Methodists, and Pentecostals.
I know this is hypothetical but now let’s view the new Church denominations as new political parties and you could argue that what the C of E has needed is not new break away Churches but a grassroots movement with the power to hold the C of E hierarchy to account. If rather than break away from the C of E the congregations had held together and demanded changes and reforms to give them more power, they might have been able to influence and fashion the C of E into something closer to the views of the people it once served and lost.
In my opinion the same is true of our party system in that the more we have, with or without PR, they still don’t have the power or even the resolve to change our system of governance which can only come from the people.
Radical change comes from mobilised grassroots – it’s just that at the moment the grassroots have other things on their mind that precludes them even thinking about political reform let alone acting to change things. However, I predict they will eventually wake up as the current deplorable state of our governance and politicians will not be tolerated forever.