If the feelings of an entire electorate cannot be determined by the interaction of the entire nation on a single day, then how is it possible to interpret and act appropriately on behalf of those people for a period of up to five years?
This is the question that has plagued politicians and resulted in reactions exemplified by the Poll Tax riots which demonstrated opinion where the electorate had no other means to demonstrate the true ‘mood of the nation’. Taking polls, reporting on what’s trending, even the sorely underfunded ONS will all fail through lack of instantly available detail.
How is it then that a nation filled with one of the most diverse, integrated and cooperative populations can fail to band together to build systems that both govern and support the individual as well as the nation?
With over 46 million of us engaged enough in our society to register to vote, it is stated that it is not possible for any one single person, group or organisation to explain exactly why our voting system is gaining criticism from so many differing groups and indifference from so many more. Even though the Scottish referendum demonstrated a divided national opinion, it denoted an electorate crying out for a chance to be heard. The results of the General Election mirrored that same desire by the Scottish people validating their belief in their country’s chance to move democratic government forwards. Even so, a third of our nations still remain unrepresented. Why?
The answer lies in reminding us of one simple, yet far reaching approach, fundamental to our democracy. The simple commonalities which bind us all. Our aim then should not be to pull everything down and start again but to advance where we are weak whilst retaining what makes us strong. To state dramatic change is not possible without complete change is to deny the past thirty years of advancing technological development in governing systems to the point where they provide a wider ranging set of services and information to a wider audience than ever before. If that level of changing technology has been overlaid on existing systems, the existing systems have had to adapt to this change already.
It is the areas of governing that have suffered as a result which is of concern today. Ironically the vast investment in technology has redirected funding from many core systems, particularly those dealing with the increasing social impacts present in an ever changing and increasing population. Million after million spent on technology that was not required or far too costly due to being so recently developed and sold as essential for ‘modern’ government. Now we are told many Local Authority CCTV systems are being turned off to save costs. How much was spent on private companies installing these systems which did not exist thirty years ago and so previously were not any cost to the nation at all? Who decided on the need for these developments? Why can’t we have a say in such matters now that we are able?
The desire to move towards an entirely different style of governing while still not having an inspiring focus for that support is best demonstrated by the underlying meaning inferred from the recently reported ‘Take us with you’ movement. In seeing the engagement by Scottish people to redesign the systems of government for their nation, other sections of the population are choosing to echo their common desires by aligning with the Scottish people for lack of an all-uniting rallying point.
As has been demonstrated time and time again, understanding between those holding diametrically opposing viewpoints is almost impossible to achieve. Therefore the recent development of political parties devoted to narrowly focused causes has merely muddied the electoral process rather than invigorating it. Proposing a move towards cities self-governing smacks of reverting to a Middle-Ages style of city states rife with even more corruption. Instead of the evil Barons we will watch millionaire Mayors jockeying for more power. Can we have a Sheriff of Nottingham also?
Although. As is clear to see, even amid the morass of media splurging knee-jerk reporting and empty speculation, varying numbers of individuals gather in increasingly connected groupings, finding at each step that the commonality of desires and expectations of our government are as widely spread as our differing and opposing viewpoints. Simple core approaches are what we need from government. Leave the shiny new toys to the areas that need it, education, healthcare, communications, transport.
Thus as these expressions of dissatisfaction and dismay gather visibility yet fail to find a common focus, what is required is a plan we can all agree on and follow. A single focus which forms a rallying point for those who fail to find comfort in any current political party. A symbol that upholds the security those who vote to protect the current status quo and guarantees their ongoing stability.
To achieve this, the majority of the population must agree on a simple layer of common requirements for all and design a set of systems to enable the direct involvement of the entire population at varying degrees based on the choice of the individual. For many millions, this will make no difference to the present situation as the aim is to continue to protect the wealth of those who can weather the vagaries of any political party being in power. For the remainder, it will provide that which is missing and provide a pathway to what is currently a dream to many.
A plan will be required that is as transparent as the new layer of government and would, given consensus support, provide the direction our population so dearly craves.
- Wait until the reality of living in consumer controlling economies demonstrates the emptying of value and stability from social care and integration.
- Wait until the majority of the nation are either happy to vote for what works for them regardless of other’s suffering or are conversely fed up with political intrigue dominating government as opposed to developing long term strategies.
- Wait until the majority of the nation is aware of the connectivity afforded by technology and are able to connect to vote by phone, computer or television.
- Wait until the existing system of General Elections demonstrates the continued diminishing voter interest and thus democratic validation.
- Wait until those whose national pride does not require approbation seek a cause worthy of their support.
- Wait until the cries for common sense approaches as the first choice to be investigated rather than the choice to be given no media coverage or diminished by falsehood and obfuscation.
- Investigate all national and local social and essential systems to determine current capability and relevance to the nation.
- Design systems that will enable direct interaction of the entire electorate to accurately and appropriately respond to the actual ‘mood of the nation’. Regular online referendums that replace online polls rather than define government policy are easily achievable and will give people the chance to be heard and feel engaged.
- Design a layer of government that will exist regardless of the political party in control of the Central Government (which will also be redefined although mostly remain unchanged) and comprises the entire electorate.
- Set out the principles and intended approaches for implementation of the new systems demonstrating the minimal impact to continuing and retiring systems.
- Create a rallying symbol that reminds each and every person that they are a part of the new systems and which will continue as long as the systems exist.
- Create a layered set of standards of immersion that regardless of the inclusion by merit of citizenship allow for each individual to choose the degree to which they interact with and thus benefit from the state.
- Initiate the publication and dissemination of the concepts and remaining requirements to a wider audience including testing and developing the initial designs towards working plans.
- Gather the members of our society together under the banner all agree on and in doing so activate the new systems’ basic operational processes.
- Garner confirmation from members that in taking responsibility for the individual in society, the individual is granted the choice of how they are governed.
- Once the members of our society reach understanding and ally under the banner for mutual benefit, the largest voting block ever seen in a General Election will hold the power to demand the proposed changes.
- Once the constitutional and electoral reforms are passed through legislature, control by the national voting block will switch to the new systems and future General Elections for the continuing Central Government will revert to those prior to the single distorted election required to force changes.
Our nations will then be armed with a means by which to ensure continuing stability, productivity, inclusion and perhaps most importantly, the most representative and democratic state to have ever yet existed.
Whilst perhaps not a politically popular concept in discussion currently, many years ago in considering a rallying symbol for our nations one stood out as symbolic purely by definition of location and combination. This idea was born from a feeling held deep inside, oft repeated in discussion and rarely denied when considered at similar depth. Our nations are kin who live, work and mix together every day. Through history we have fought together and against each other, again like a family. We differ starkly yet blend perfectly. Our welcoming of all cultures and creeds has broadened our capabilities uniquely. We should not await a calamity to unite us again, we should unite now as we have the tools to do so better than ever before.
So together, there is no denying we are The WISE. The Welsh, Irish, Scottish and English together are WISE. You are WISE, we are WISE. Apart we are incredible, combined we are unbeatable.