Political parties should not form governments

When you are in the middle of something it is hard to see that there are other alternatives.  This is so with our current political system where the party with the most seats gets to form the government. Occasionally when the particular party does not have enough seats in parliament to form a majority then they may work with a smaller party to get their way.

Over the last hundred years we have, more or less, been governed for three quarters of the time by the Conservative party and a quarter of the time by the Labour party.

The fundamental flaw in this system is that governments are supposed to represent the needs of the electorate whereas parties represent the needs of its members. As the number of people who vote for a particular party has always, since the 1950s, been less than the majority then these two principles are incompatible. Whilst MPs are supposed to represent the needs of the country first, it is clear to any observer that their main driver is to keep in power. The way they do this is to adhere to the party system.

As of 2019, the Labour Party had around 485,000 members while the Conservative Party had around  180,000. With an electorate of just over 47,000,000 this means that when Labour is in power it is working at the behest of 1% of the population while under a Conservative government this drops to 0.4%.

We live under a political system where a minority party gets to govern over the majority and where the parties themselves truly represent a tiny fraction of the populace.

What is the answer. It is difficult to imagine a system without political parties as then nobody would know what anyone stood for. Proportional representation is the only way forward where a government can only be formed when it enjoys a majority of the electorate’s votes.

What we have today is not democracy but rather an elected minoritarianism.

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