Our system of democracy isn’t very effective at producing democratic results. It certainly seeks to derive its authority from the idea that democracy is a good thing, but in practice it’s a perversion of the idea of democracy, in that we seem only to be allowed a choice between two groups of political fetishists, neither of whom match the bell curve of the British political spectrum. Real democracy surely lives at the peak of that bell curve, but the only time politicians seem concerned to address the hump of it is when they need votes that will empower them to follow their own agendas.
None of our current crop of parties seem interested in a genuinely democratic process. They were all set up by people with a dogmatic political philosophy who thereafter set about making converts to it. Each party has a policy making apparatus that seems tricked up to keep all the power to make decisions right at the top.
All the main parties have a feeble membership base that gets more feeble every year. And the die-hards who keep the parties alive are laden down with the gruelling burdens of old loyalties. Worse, the power struggles inside the parties mean that the people who end up controlling them are even more removed from the norm than the parties they represent.
Reforming the old parties would take much longer than starting a new one with a constitution that acknowledges the power of the internet to provide a much more democratic system.
So, we started it. We called it The Internet Democrats.
Imagine a genuinely democratic party where being active didn’t mean being obsessive, where you could contribute as much or as little as you wanted, every day if you liked, or only for crucial votes if you preferred, which wasn’t so susceptible to the machinations of the more nutty of its activists, where the source of authority was the majority of its membership, and which allowed its members the possibility of contributing to making policy on a continuous basis. One where you don’t have to go to the meetings and be bullied and side-lined by the procedural restraints imposed by the old hands.
And a party that sought to extend this kind of democratic control to the functions of parliament itself. We could make important decisions by internet referendum every day, and those choices would be far more democratically accurate than those arrived at by the current system.
There’s an old saying which is both corny and profound.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Step one, start the party.
Step two – grow its membership, and in this case, at the same time, build and develop a website which is the ever active source of the party’s philosophy, constitution, and policies – one based on a democracy that provides virtually instant feedback, common sense, and the pursuit of a shared purpose for this country. The British people are tired of the bickering between dogmatists that passes for debate. We need a politics where the best ideas rise to the top, and one where we feel the policies that are adopted by voting on them are the best ones, and not the ones most enthused about by people whose political outlook is in thrall to old prejudices and tribal loyalties.