People’s Alliance: Build a Grand Coalition of the Centre
Bar a revolution, we don’t believe any party outside the ‘establishment three’ is likely to emerge as a genuine contender for power anytime soon. Unless the country’s economic and social infrastructure collapses many voters will likely stick with their traditional choices and all those who are looking for alternatives will remain fragmented. Even if there were some ‘new’ party with a popular leader and an unlimited war chest they would struggle to appeal to an electorate with a broad range of ideals. Apart from extremist or ‘single-issue’ alternatives there are a plethora of small ‘centrist’ (left and right) parties who spend more time competing against each other than challenging the ‘status quo’.
Some may suggest they should seek unity. There may indeed be some parties that are so close ideologically (or have none at all) that could merge. However, for various reasons (good and bad), this is unlikely to attract the majority. Ideological nuances, policy focus and ego’s will preclude any ‘unity’ and end in ‘disunity’ if forced.
The National Liberals, for example, wouldn’t expect to attract all disaffected activists/voters to its banner. Our focus on liberal issues e.g. civil liberties, would not motivate everyone even if in agreement. The same could be said for other parties. However, the issues such centrist parties, and it has to be said many Independents, hold e.g. democratic reform, civil liberties, Euro-realism, (non-racist) patriotism could form the basis of agreement. Those issues could be promoted by a loose co-operative body. Those issues could even be promoted in turn. If certain parties (or individuals) focus more on promoting their ‘hobby horses’ so be it. By maintaining party identities we allow people to express their ideological differences. By working in a voluntary campaigning body we benefit by sharing resources where appropriate.
Thus the phrase ‘Unity in Diversity’ perhaps ideally describes the People’s Alliance (UK). The People’s Alliance (UK) was specifically formed as an all-party campaigning body. It is a template for co-operation. It could also develop into an electoral alliance and even a legislative coalition.
A ‘Grand Coalition of the Centre’ would work by bringing together all small centrist parties and Independents working in a loose campaigning body. This body would from time to time mobilise its’ constituent parts to promote an idea through literature distribution or to campaign/protest on the streets if some principle e.g. civil liberties were under threat.
It won’t be easy dropping egos and putting aside policy differences or emphasis but the end result would be worth it. If we cannot do this we will continue with a Lab/Con see-saw with only extreme alternatives realistically on offer. Is that what you want? If not contact the National Liberals (firstname.lastname@example.org) and whether you want to work through us, independently or through another similar party, let us build the centrist, common-sense alternative!
Date: March 14, 2011