No, this isn’t a blog about why the results of the 2017 general election were obvious, or anything like that. In fact I’m not even going to talk about the losses and gains or who is right or wrong.
What I want to discuss is where UK politics goes from here. Whether you’re young, old, Left, Right, male, female, voter or non-voter, or however you identify, I think we can all agree that a hung parliament in the midst of Brexit is a major deal. At a time when we really need unity, stability and certainty, we appear to have the most division, instability and uncertainty.
Younger voters I congratulate you, thank you for taking the time to educate yourself about politics despite the fact that the education system fails to do so, your votes are powerful and your voices have now been well and truly heard. Older voters I respect you, you have more years of experience on your side and you have generally always turned out to vote, even nagged the younger generations to vote, so thank you too.
However, now that voters from both sides of the generational divide have come out in force we have arrived at a hung parliament with no overall majority. I think this screams that something isn’t working with our political system and that no one should be, or can be ignored. ‘Coalition of chaos’ has been thrown around a lot in the last few weeks, but let me ask you a question and let me know which country springs to mind;
Which country in Europe would you say has the strongest economy?
If you guessed Germany then you would be correct. However, did you know that Germany has only had coalition governments for the past 40+ years? In fact it’s the norm in Germany to have a coalition government made up of two parties.
How can this be? Everyone keeps saying that a coalition government would be a disaster, right? Yet Germany are the strongest economy in Europe and they have a coalition government, surely that’s not right?
Google it for yourself, ‘which country has the strongest economy in europe?’ You will find Germany in first place, followed by France in second, and then the UK currently sitting at third place. So if Germany can do it, why can’t the UK do it?
Well the reason it works so well in Germany is because they have a voting system which adopts partial, proportional, representative voting.
‘Germans elect their members of parliament with two votes. One vote is for a direct candidate, who ought to receive a plurality vote in their election district. The second vote (considered as more important) is to elect a party list in each province as established by its respective party caucus. Half of the Bundestag is then filled with candidates that won their electoral districts by the first votes and the other half by candidates from the party lists according roughly to the proportion the parties receive from the second votes according to a complex mathematical formula. Common practice is that direct candidates are also placed on the electoral lists at higher rankings as a fall-back if they do not win their districts.’ – Electoral system of Germany Wikipedia.
So here are my thoughts with regards to the UK, since there was no majority, and since younger voters and older voters came out in force for the 2017 general election, it would be simply foolish and outright disrespectful to ignore one group of voters in favour of another. It would also be foolish in my opinion for Theresa May to try for a ‘hard Brexit’ when it is quite clear she lacks the majority to do so. This doesn’t mean we have to have a so called ‘soft Brexit’ but it does make sense to try and take the path down the middle, whatever that may be.
My general feeling is that the Labour and Conservative parties need to drop their party banners and mantras, and stop fighting against one another and actually start working together. There are some good Labour policies and there are some good Conservative policies, and the policies on which the two parties completely disagree upon could in theory reach some sort of middle ground. With Brexit on our doorstep we need a unified and respectful government which looks at all the issues and includes everyone in the UK, that means England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In order for this to happen I believe we need to call for a proportional vote representation system in the UK.
Let’s stop arguing and throwing insults, and start talking and listening to each other.
Please feel free to share this with others if you agree.