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Transforming our Democracy and Political System for the 21st Century

November 21, 2019
Transforming our Democracy and Political System for the 21st Century Issue 2.6 October 2022.

When it comes to democracy our vote is a blunt instrument: we normally have no input on political policies, often have to vote for the least-worst party, or even rely on our perception of the principles and values of a political party. Our vote’s value depends on whether we live in a marginal or safe seat. The adversarial system of Parliament, confrontational politics and constant distortion all polarise opinions and bring politics and politicians into disrepute. The media exacerbate this confrontation and distortion. The focus is on discord rather than solutions. 

This is one of our cornerstone documents. It looks at existing political issues, the objectives of an improved Digital Democracy and Political System in the 21st century and political strategies and ideas for addressing these. A summary of these policy proposals is given below and explained in the document:

  • Introduce Majority Plus Voting – a new voting system that improves on both ‘First Past the Post’ and Proportional Representation
  • Establish Digital Democracy including
    • Enable Advisory Digital Voting at a policy level to allow our input and inform politicians. Make use of a Digital Identity card for security.
    • Introduce a Digital Ideas System and associated policy development process to allow us to contribute ideas to policy development
    • Trial vUK for developing consensus, learning from vTaiwan
    • Combine Representative Democracy with elements of Direct Democracy clarifying the role of our representatives
  • Improve Policy Development – using digital democracy, an enhanced role for Think Tanks and Manifestos with a standardised format
  • Improve Diversity of Demographic Representation – a system ensuring representatives closer to our own view; who have more diverse work and life experience; are better qualified; better reflect the make-up of people in the country; with an adjusted role for parties and introducing a requirement for ‘chartered politician’ status for cabinet ministers.
  • Enable Trusted Media Sources - which inform and educate rather than exacerbate the distortions of adversarial and confrontational politics
  • Reorganise Government and Parliament including
  • Create a Chamber of the Future focused on the long-term by replacing half the House of Lords to address the short-termism of politics.
  • Establish associated long-term bodies and mechanisms responsible for future Scenario Planning and associated ‘Society Development’ and Contingency/Disaster Planning.
    • Improve Devolved Decision making – more ‘Democracy on the doorstep’ and ‘Managing Bodies’
    • Establish annual factual progress and ‘state of nation’ reporting so we have a better view of how Government is actually performing underpinned by mirroring existing factual bodies like the ONS (Office of National Statistics) and OBR (Office of Budget Responsibility) to extend across all sectors of policy
    • Introduce more subject expertise into our governing systems by establishing expert bodies (like the Covid SAGE panel) alongside every Government department; outsourcing more areas of responsibility to professionals, similar to the Bank of England; developing; a professional ‘Chartered Politician’ status for MPs as a requirement for ministerial office; addressing MP Diversity with respect to technology and business understanding given the chronic imbalance.
    • Establish a formal channel to and from businesses for developing ideas and opportunities and assisting in tackling issues
    • Address Adversarial Politics through a series of measures which tackle root causes of the excesses of the adversarial system, both in Parliament and in the media
    • Develop and establish a written constitution which expires and is updated and renewed every 20 years in order to bring clarity to the public of our framework over the longer-term
  • Make Governing for all a reality including:
    • Define Governing for all measures - a measurement system to ensure Government for a fairer and better society
    • Track Progress visibly – annual communication of progress and setbacks
    • Create a National Fund and National Dividend Payment to make everyone feel they benefit from growth in the economy
    • Require Employment Dividends - to make a direct connection between the success of a company and employees’ success
  • Incorporate ‘Spirit of the Law’ features across our legal and regulatory systems to address the practice of pushing the ‘Letter of the Law’ to the limit
  • Reform the Civil Service to address the many limitations that have built up and to transform its culture to be appropriate for a 21st Century Society in an Artificial Intelligence Future