A New Way Of Voting

Maybe you agree. and maybe you don’t, but one of the problems with party-based politics is the fact that it is party based, and a large part of the population seems to vote based upon party lines, rather than individual party policies, or even based upon which of the candidates for their local MP is the best match for their beliefs.

Now, perhaps the best way to get around this would be to have all prospective MPs standing as independents, but that is never going to happen – there is too much party-based infrastructure, and even if you could convince everyone to stand independently, over time you would get groups of MPs joining forces, and eventually end up where you started.

However, perhaps the problem is not so much the existence of political parties, but the actions of the voters – is there a way to prevent, or at least make it harder for, the voter to simply vote for a party rather than individual candidates and their policies. Thinking about this, the following came to mind.

If voting forms removed party allegiances, and simply stated candidate names, at least voters would need to spend a bit of time researching who was standing (and who they were standing for), before entering the voting booth. Hopefully this would encourage the public to engage a bit further with politics, as a bit of prior thought would then be required in order to cast a vote.

Having thought this over for a bit, there is then the intriguing possibility of taking this even further – remove candidate names and parties from voting forms, and replace them with stated policies, perhaps a limit of 5 or so, that the candidate would be bound to abide by during their term of office. The public would then truly be voting for a policy, not a party. If sufficient candidates pro a certain policy are elected, then that policy is guaranteed to be put into force. Some form of oversight would be required to ensure that stated policies are enacted, and that the policies placed upon the form are not abused. Perhaps there would be 3 standard policy statements decided upon by an election committee that each candidate would state their position on, and 3 individual policies provided by the candidate themselves.

The end result would be to require the voting public to engage in the political process and learn where candidates actually stand – it would not be impossible to identify a candidate and their party, but the research required only increases the knowledge of the voter. In addition, the voters are guaranteed that having elected a candidate on the basis of certain policies, they will receive that representation – a candidate cannot promise one thing and then deliver another.

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