Party representatives unveiling first campaign (NOTA)
For the National Liberal Party, we might highlight the gulf between the rhetoric of self-determination and the practice, for Democratic Reform Party it might be the gulf between calls for political reform and the resistance of Parliament to heed those calls, for the Peoples Democratic Party it might be the gulf between what politicians say and what they actually do, for the Popular Alliance it might be Parliament’s failure to have worked in the real world compared to the rest of us.
If we all agree there is a democratic deficit how will TD function and plan to change things?
Firstly, let me explain what TD is not. It is not a political party. The founders are existing political parties; there is no need for another. It is not a merger into one either. It is also not an electoral coalition or accommodation, although it may ultimately facilitate that between some or all of its members.
In short it is a group to co-ordinate campaigns of mutual interest. This is quite unique in British politics. Even the present coalition is composed of unwilling partners and exists due to an arithmetical accident. TD is composed of willing partners.
Its’ campaigns will be on matters of common interest as decided upon by the group’s members. If a majority agree, a campaign will be launched. All will be opt-in rather than opt-out; so that no-one is obliged to promote something they may have reservations with. How all this will work will be covered by a constitution in due course.
The first campaign will be NOTA (None of the above). We are told that falling votes at elections is due to apathy. We say this is actually due to disillusionment; with the parties, with the politicians, with the system. We know this from the proliferation of new parties and from our own experience. Our political betters may or may not know the reality but they are certainly spinning us a yarn. We believe that by putting a ‘None of the above’ box on each ballot paper we will increase turnout as voters will have an opportunity to exercise their democratic right without having to vote for parties they dislike! There is so much more that can be done but this would be a good start.
The future of Total Democracy
Party representatives unveiling TD banner outside Parliament.
Presently, there are four small centrist parties, the founders, involved but we hope to expand, including independents and pressure groups, once a constitution is in place.
In the long run I see this as the only realistic strategy to changing the system and the way we are ruled, and the way we rules ourselves. The alternative is an all-encompassing single party that can somehow sweep to power in a blaze of glory, whilst overcoming the powerful obstacles, such as the First Past The Post, costly elections and media blackouts, all designed to prevent such a fantasy ever occurring.
Furthermore, I don’t believe that any one party can appeal to all social classes, ethnic groups or political persuasions. The present three party system exists because it taps into and attempts to articulate the three great political traditions in the UK; Conservatism, Socialism and Liberalism.
One of our councillors David Durant articulated a theory of the ‘Three Traditions’ and postulated that there were alternative versions of those ideas. For example, a patriotic version of the Tories might be UKIP, a similar version of the liberals would be the NLP, and a constitutional, and reformist version of the liberals is perhaps the DRP etc. In other words there are ‘alternative’ images of the establishment parties that can tap into the ‘Three Traditions’. Total Democracy’s aim then must be to get the sensible, centrist versions i.e. those parties more composed of and in tune with ordinary people, working and pulling together in a common direction.
This alternative will be a body that can reach out to all sections of society, individually and collectively, to represent them, and that body is Total Democracy.