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 Post subject: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 12:45 pm 
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I going to write another of my online essays today, which will grow before your very eyes as I attempt to see if we can get ourselves out of this mess. In so doing, I take as my cue the lament of Calling England, who declares:

Quote:
There is no political party or even an outsider who can lead us out of this mess. The change that must happen must come from us as individuals and we must be responsible for our own actions instead of looking to others. No-one will come.


He's dead right. For too long, we sit more or less passively waiting for some Great Leader to guide us to the sunlit uplands, invariably ending up mired in some foetid swamp, casting around for yet another figure, only to repeat the same process.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:58 pm
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What do the Green party and Muslims in the north of England have in common?

They have an ideology to which they subscribe over and above politics and which forms part of their core identity.

Whilst they are clearly both of the "tear it down" school of political reform (or economic reform in the case of the Greens) they have significant support from the permanent state. As an example; the BBC might as well be the Green Broadcasting Corporation and they have clearly never met an aggrieved Muslim they didn't like. Similarly, most local councils are on-board with the carbon-neutral and multicultural sensitivity agendas. This automatically lends legitimacy and authority to their cause. No-one feels embarrassed to be a part of it and others are made to feel bad for disagreeing.

Referism would have a new idea yet to form itself into a complete ideology and the undying hated of the permanent state.

I like the idea of a Referism movement, as opposed to a Referism party, but I'm not sure what the "hook" which would get the interest and commitment of people who get their information via the evening news with it's "parade of bloody stumps" regarding the cuts.

My question is, given the above, where do we start?


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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:11 pm 
The link to comments for this post goes to the DSK thread instead of here. (I got here by guessing the URL.)


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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:25 pm 
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Clarence wrote:
The link to comments for this post goes to the DSK thread instead of here. (I got here by guessing the URL.)


Thanks ... sorted.

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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 4:42 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:23 pm
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The fundamental problem here is not just the politicians, its the political process. We only get the crappy politicians because the process is so disenfranchised.

How about this for a programme:

1. Set up a polling site with secure logins.

2. Create polls with time limits that match the legislation currently going through parliament (white papers, green papers etc.) along with links to resource material.

3. Ask for polling information whether the user agrees or disagrees with the proposal on a radio button basis.

4. Give option to leave suggested changes to the proposal that could then be added to the poll. Discard joke changes.

5. Up to the time limit people can login and change their vote to any new change/amendment if they see fit.

6. Once the time has expired produce the result.

7. Forward this result Lord Chancellors office asking them to use this information in the amendment debate.

8. Once a number of these polls are complete, send a selection to the Minister for Local Government asking him/her to request that local goverment web sites provide links to the polling site as a way to enhance democracy (can't possibly disagree with that). Also for them to look at providing local versions for their region / borough / authority etc.

9. Campaign relentlessly for universal access to the site as a right for every citizen.

10. Persue 7, 8 and 9 and invite politicians to put their case at the poll site (or provide links) to make their case.

Given time any law passed that contradicts the independant poll should be labelled as undemocratic.

It may take a long time to reach that stage but the right is all on our side. This method is more democratic than Parliament.


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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 5:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:58 pm
Posts: 94
amoorhouse wrote:
The fundamental problem here is not just the politicians, its the political process. We only get the crappy politicians because the process is so disenfranchised.

How about this for a programme:

1. Set up a polling site with secure logins.

2. Create polls with time limits that match the legislation currently going through parliament (white papers, green papers etc.) along with links to resource material.

3. Ask for polling information whether the user agrees or disagrees with the proposal on a radio button basis.

4. Give option to leave suggested changes to the proposal that could then be added to the poll. Discard joke changes.

5. Up to the time limit people can login and change their vote to any new change/amendment if they see fit.

6. Once the time has expired produce the result.

7. Forward this result Lord Chancellors office asking them to use this information in the amendment debate.

8. Once a number of these polls are complete, send a selection to the Minister for Local Government asking him/her to request that local goverment web sites provide links to the polling site as a way to enhance democracy (can't possibly disagree with that). Also for them to look at providing local versions for their region / borough / authority etc.

9. Campaign relentlessly for universal access to the site as a right for every citizen.

10. Persue 7, 8 and 9 and invite politicians to put their case at the poll site (or provide links) to make their case.

Given time any law passed that contradicts the independant poll should be labelled as undemocratic.

It may take a long time to reach that stage but the right is all on our side. This method is more democratic than Parliament.


I like this. It would usefully illustrate the actual popularity/use/acceptability of legislation as it goes through parliament. I have a suggestion;

2A) For each poll a primer giving details of the legislation including; it's origin i.e. EU or private members bill etc and an analysis of the acts implications i.e. costs, who it gives authority to and if there are any consequences which are not being made clear.

This could be a useful tool but it does have the problem that the only people who would log in would be those already interested. It wouldn't change minds but the act of monitoring parliament and participating in the polls could be a useful part of building the identity I talked about earlier.


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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 5:05 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:59 pm
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It's good to see such a large number of comments under yesterdays 'The death of UKIP' post. But I'm posting here because I've nothing useful to add to those comments, I've said all my stuff umpteen times before below similar posts. I'm keen to move on.

Yes I agree the performance of the Greens looks good. But I fancy they will soon try to out-do the Lib Dems. Next floods of ex-LD activists will spot this and move over to them, the new band waggon etc. This could be the Greens undoing as all the reasons the LD's are now going down will come too.

Hark back to the high point of 'conventional' politics and the last general election. The lasting memory from the televised debate was the "I agree with Nick" line and the picture of three boring men in suits and two with their feet in the air. It was all imagery and no substance.

Mind you I tend to agree with Richard North (!) the death of UKIP is not a sign of small parties being pushed out. What's started is the erosion of conventional politics with the smaller parties going first.


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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 5:10 pm 
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FatCaveman wrote:
amoorhouse wrote:
The fundamental problem here is not just the politicians, its the political process. We only get the crappy politicians because the process is so disenfranchised.

How about this for a programme:

1. Set up a polling site with secure logins.

2. Create polls with time limits that match the legislation currently going through parliament (white papers, green papers etc.) along with links to resource material.

3. Ask for polling information whether the user agrees or disagrees with the proposal on a radio button basis.

4. Give option to leave suggested changes to the proposal that could then be added to the poll. Discard joke changes.

5. Up to the time limit people can login and change their vote to any new change/amendment if they see fit.

6. Once the time has expired produce the result.

7. Forward this result Lord Chancellors office asking them to use this information in the amendment debate.

8. Once a number of these polls are complete, send a selection to the Minister for Local Government asking him/her to request that local goverment web sites provide links to the polling site as a way to enhance democracy (can't possibly disagree with that). Also for them to look at providing local versions for their region / borough / authority etc.

9. Campaign relentlessly for universal access to the site as a right for every citizen.

10. Persue 7, 8 and 9 and invite politicians to put their case at the poll site (or provide links) to make their case.

Given time any law passed that contradicts the independant poll should be labelled as undemocratic.

It may take a long time to reach that stage but the right is all on our side. This method is more democratic than Parliament.


I like this. It would usefully illustrate the actual popularity/use/acceptability of legislation as it goes through parliament. I have a suggestion;

2A) For each poll a primer giving details of the legislation including; it's origin i.e. EU or private members bill etc and an analysis of the acts implications i.e. costs, who it gives authority to and if there are any consequences which are not being made clear.

This could be a useful tool but it does have the problem that the only people who would log in would be those already interested. It wouldn't change minds but the act of monitoring parliament and participating in the polls could be a useful part of building the identity I talked about earlier.


Spot on ... too complicated and no one is that interested. The thing is, we have a government and we want it to "govern" ... to do it well. That is what we pay it do do, while we get on with our lives. People are only really interested when it goes wrong. The most important need it to have a mechanism for righting wrongs.

On the broader front, we want a smaller government ... purely on the basis that nothing government does will be done well, so restrict it to the things that only it can or should do. And to limit government, you have to control the money.

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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 5:13 pm 
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In2minds wrote:
It's good to see such a large number of comments under yesterdays 'The death of UKIP' post. But I'm posting here because I've nothing useful to add to those comments, I've said all my stuff umpteen times before below similar posts. I'm keen to move on.

Yes I agree the performance of the Greens looks good. But I fancy they will soon try to out-do the Lib Dems. Next floods of ex-LD activists will spot this and move over to them, the new band waggon etc. This could be the Greens undoing as all the reasons the LD's are now going down will come too.

Hark back to the high point of 'conventional' politics and the last general election. The lasting memory from the televised debate was the "I agree with Nick" line and the picture of three boring men in suits and two with their feet in the air. It was all imagery and no substance.

Mind you I tend to agree with Richard North (!) the death of UKIP is not a sign of small parties being pushed out. What's started is the erosion of conventional politics with the smaller parties going first.


We used to have party activists ... that amount of energy driven into the blogosphere gives us collectively a power base. This is a cost-free, risk free option ... but is one that could deliver very interesting results.

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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 5:21 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:58 pm
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O.K. Now that the article has been expanded to include a "where do we go from here" I find myself vaguely unsatisfied with the conclusion.

Political blogging is important, particularly when bloggers have the time and energy to investigate issues in a way that the MSM refuses to do. It is also a way to thrash out a useful, rounded philosophy around Referism.

It is unlikely to change very much, however, because people will have to seek us out and too few people are actually looking for anything different. When people do go looking for "radical" type politics they tend to gravitate mostly to the soap-dodging left or occasionally the shaven-headed right.

I can see the political blogging phase as a necessary and important first step in building alliances and networks and ironing out a viewpoint and identity which many people can get behind, but I think we also need to get out there in the world and look at practical applications on a small scale at a local level.

By the way, I know this is criticising without really having any positive ideas except for a vague sense that doing real things out in the local community are important, and I apologise for that.


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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 5:29 pm 
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FatCaveman wrote:
O.K. Now that the article has been expanded to include a "where do we go from here" I find myself vaguely unsatisfied with the conclusion.

Political blogging is important, particularly when bloggers have the time and energy to investigate issues in a way that the MSM refuses to do. It is also a way to thrash out a useful, rounded philosophy around Referism.

It is unlikely to change very much, however, because people will have to seek us out and too few people are actually looking for anything different. When people do go looking for "radical" type politics they tend to gravitate mostly to the soap-dodging left or occasionally the shaven-headed right.

I can see the political blogging phase as a necessary and important first step in building alliances and networks and ironing out a viewpoint and identity which many people can get behind, but I think we also need to get out there in the world and look at practical applications on a small scale at a local level.

By the way, I know this is criticising without really having any positive ideas except for a vague sense that doing real things out in the local community are important, and I apologise for that.


Thanks ... and in the same spirit, I have to say that I fundamentally disagree. The independent political blogosphere has in fact been a powerful influence in the US, and is still expanding and flexing its muscles. Here that has been less so, not least because the MSM has moved in on the action and taken it over, and also because of the "Dale factor", where there has been an inward-looking Tory clique hogging the action. An independent (but co-operative) blogosphere can marshal opinion, in the same way as can newspapers, and can become a significant force. It is not the be all and end all, but it is an under-exploited resource.

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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 5:52 pm 
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RAENORTH wrote:
Thanks ... and in the same spirit, I have to say that I fundamentally disagree.


What the hey? I am sitting over here on the other side of the "Pond," and I am reading your bog. You cannot deny that that is somewhat significant. One can seek to influence whole political parties or one can seek to influence individuals. It is much more appealing to try to influence a whole party: looks like more bang-for-the-buck. But parties are never really loyal. Individuals, on the other hand, are a bit more expensive, but their loyalty is more lasting.

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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 6:04 pm 
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Well Doc, I've been reading your blog since before you had the forum and still am. I found you through UKIP Uncovered by Martin Cole if memory serves. I'm not sure I agree with your annual referendum on the budget but I do think we should have a separation of power and remove the government from the house of commons, and also stagger elections like the yanks so people can vote for the non-government party mid-term. Rees-Mogg said a long time back that we have to save ourselves. It has always been a numbers game and has been ineffectual due to the apathetic nature of Brits. Nearly one million voted UKIP last general, almost double from the last one.


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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 6:28 pm 
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Referism: '...is about the transfer of power, releasing people from the bondage of the elites and vesting in them control over their own government. It is about changing the relationship between government and the people, one in which the government says please...'

So, it's essentially a bottom-up Whiggish movement; a resurrection (or reinvigoration) of the 'Radical' which has been more than a little subsumed to the 'Tory' in what has become known as 'Conservatism'. But the Referism philosophy is thoroughly of the 'liberal-right': over the pond, it manifests itself in part as the Tea Party (small government, low budget), which some have attempted (without much success) to replicate here in the UK.

As Dr North knows well (from experience), it is not so much that a new movement needs a charismatic leader (though, however you want to reason it away, the people will demand a king - 1Sam 8); it is that such a leader will need to invest an awful lot of money (as Sir James Goldsmith found) for maybe a return of 2000 votes (if you work hard) in each constituency. Certainly, those 2000 may become instead a (sizeable) pressure group (ie, not a political paty), but that is precisely what 'The People's Pledge' are trying to achieve as far as the EU is concerned (and not without some success, though His Grace has not subscribed).

The problem with politics is the human ego. Each and every attempt at establishing a movement for change has foundered on the rock of aggressive assertions of individuality (often by the wealthy), such that A can't stand B, who refuses to work with C because of what D said to A five years ago, which was slanderous and resulted in B telling E, F and G never to work with D again because they simply can't be trusted. So, even though A-G all agree on the super-objective, they splinter into their own little cults to establish a coterie of like-minded disciples who will be faithful to their particular fragment of 'ever farther dis-union'. As a result, H, I and J just give up, even though their contributions and gifts would have been invaluable.

As someone very wise once said: '...a house divided against itself cannot stand.' His Grace will add that there's not a lot of point in building an entire estate of bungalows even if there's space for caravans and trailers. In the UK, Islam and the Greens have succeeded where (even) the Christians have not because they both (in different ways) induce fear: i) of civil unrest; ii) of plantetary destruction. His Grace is merely a philosopher and a theologian: perhaps a psychologist might care to comment.


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 Post subject: Re: A voters' alliance
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 6:51 pm 
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Cranmer wrote:
The problem with politics is the human ego. Each and every attempt at establishing a movement for change has foundered on the rock of aggressive assertions of individuality (often by the wealthy), such that A can't stand B, who refuses to work with C because of what D said to A five years ago, which was slanderous and resulted in B telling E, F and G never to work with D again because they simply can't be trusted. So, even though A-G all agree on the super-objective, they splinter into their own little cults to establish a coterie of like-minded disciples who will be faithful to their particular fragment of 'ever farther dis-union'. As a result, H, I and J just give up, even though their contributions and gifts would have been invaluable.


There, I fear, you have put your finger on it ... there are many, for instance, that will not touch "referism" because it comes from here. I think the reality of power might change things though ... the Conservative Party is an alliance of individuals, many of whom loathe each other, but will unite in the common cause of gaining power. It is only the little grouescules that dissolve in a welter of recriminations ... typical small-party politics ... because they do not have the prospect of power to unite them.

Thus, the key issue here is one with which you will be familiar ... faith. People must have faith in their own power and their ability to change things. With that, anything is possible.

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