The immediate data:
Actual 2015 Result in Full.
That last message – we must turn anger and disappointment into constructive action, and not let it become despair and depresssion. Or as Michael Cashman put it:
My mantra for the next few months: Don’t blame others, no one sets out to fail, accept responsibility, be generous and don’t become bitter.
My starting positions:
Liberal & Democratic & Sustainable, where Values beat Arithmetic. Freedom – individual human rights – not “individually unconstrained” but guided by values. In order to decide (things of value) you need values to start with.
Individual Representation – is first about “self-identity” – who are we, who do we see ourselves as, what constituencies are we part of, what labels to we choose.
Multiple identified constituencies National, Regional & Local, and National, European, Global/Cosmic as well as Multiple tribal constituencies on shared features and issues.
Multiple representational institutions – nationally we are bicameral, regionally/locally we have overlapping authorities. Extra-nationally we have many authorities.
So electoral reform is not about House of Commons in isolation. It’s also about relationship to second house and to lower and higher institutions, and about democratic arrangements of those other houses & institutions. (eg HoC vs HoL, UK vs Countries and Regions, UK vs EU, UK & EU vs UN, etc.)
Delegation vs representation. Pragmatism. We can never pre-agree, or decide in real time (referenda) on every decision our various representatives make (or promise to make). Authority is “delegated” UP the chain of institutions (federation). Representation is “delegated” DOWN from people to the representatives in the institutions, Our representatives cannot literally be our delegates, making the decision we would make in every case in every institution.
Life is for living according to values – mutual values (freedoms) – our individual time cannot to be taken up with governance. Governance we want to delegate efficiently to those we can trust (and hold accountable). Some of us can spend some of our life wholly bound up in campaigns for something or other, but we can’t all spend all of our time on the campaign, it’s the “something” we really want to live, not the campaign.
Trust and love (care for fellow human individuals, individuals in a shared sustainable cosmos), are the key values. Everything else is priorities and practicalities of resources, of which time is one we all value (for living, otherwise why care about sustainability).
Some immediate corollaries:
Do not want pure arithmetic solution for proportionality of popular (votes) to representation (seats). We must not replace values, or allow them to be replaced, with numbers.
Do not want same democratic representation arrangements for all houses and institutions – not all popular vote based. (eg if HoC is popular vote based, then HoL should NOT be, not entirely.) Diversity is an important component of sustainability.
Assuming a good level of trust is maintained, the best relationship between population and governance is bottom-up. Popular votes for local / regional institutions, with lower institutions delegating power and authority upwards upwards (federally) and delegating appointed representatives upwards, generally without popular voting. Exceptions should be exceptions, and in practice there will be many until and unless that trust-based state is achieved. The fact that this would be a multi-generational project, does not change the aim, the vision.
Manifestos may be filled (for practical reasons) with promises of short term plans and actions, but must not be confused with actual values and visions shared for the sustainable long-haul.
THE KEY MESSAGE:
Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, so the elected will not have electoral reform as their highest priority. Something like the Constitutional Convention is therefore essential to making progress with electoral reform in line with longer term shared values.
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
[@RustyRockets Vlog Sweet, naive learning with a voice, real time before our eyes. Split “anti-nasty-Tories” vote. Common compassion message, needs new thinking, but the naïveté means his language inevitably hits the right words. What’s so funny ’bout … The boy done good.]
[And a good long Facebook exchange on Clive Andrews timeline.]
[And more on voting for individuals you can trust locally – even if they’re Tory. Hat Tip to Smiffy on FB.]