“Just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”
Politics is a bit of a taboo topic. There is a common perception from a growing number of the electorate that “there’s too much politics going on at the moment”. As political engagement becomes as important as ever, more people seem to be turned off by political debate.
Undoubtedly, we all have strong opinions when it comes to issues. However, there is still a disconnect between caring about issues and engaging in conventional forms of politics. So many people see Party Politics as something that “isn’t for them”; they can’t be bothered with the camaraderie and what they see as constant lies from politicians. They find it difficult talking about politics with friends and family for fear of causing arguments if they have different views. They find issues like Brexit incredibly complex and yet feel that explanations can be unhelpful and often patronising.
At TalkPolitics, we envisage a different democracy, one that is more accessible. A democracy where people feel that politics is for them. A democracy where issues are properly explained, in a language that is neither patronising nor intimidating. A less toxic democracy where people feel free to speak their mind on issues.
We envisage a democracy within which young people are effectively taught about politics, to equip them with the intellectual tools required for a lifetime of political debate. These tools will empower them to shape their own future and not have it determined by others.
A common criticism of politicians is that they’re “all the same”. Whilst we at TalkPolitics believe this not to be the case, we think this issue is largely derived from a voting system that’s broken. Under first past the post, realistically, only one of two parties can govern: Labour or the Conservatives. Votes don’t matter equally and the extent to which your vote matters depends upon where you live. A defence of this system is that, although imperfect, it delivers governable majorities. But in 2010 and more recently in 2017 no majority was delivered.
At TalkPolitics, we envisage a voting system where everybody’s vote matters equally, regardless of where you live. The electorate could simply vote for the party they believe best aligns with their ideas, principles and values. There’d be no need for tactical voting and our parliament would be more representative. The electorate would be given real choice rather than having to opt for the “least worst” option as they often feel they have to.
People may argue that fringe parties with extreme views would be given a platform under this kind of system. We argue that this is a good thing. If you disagree with someone’s views, the best thing to do is to challenge those views openly and honestly through debate. If we’ve learnt anything from Brexit it’s that we have to become much better at engaging in debates about difficult issues. In a nutshell, TalkPolitics envisage a more representative democracy.
There is a crisis of confidence in politics generally but especially in its practitioners. At TalkPolitics, we envisage a democracy in which politicians are trusted by the people. Clearly, politicians will never please everyone, but we envisage a democracy with a much healthier relationship between politicians and the electorate.
We envisage a more modern democracy also. A democracy where people can vote electronically. A democracy where politicians no longer have to waste time (and money) commuting to Westminster but can devote more time to constituents and debating issues.
In a nutshell, TalkPolitics envisage
- A more accessible democracy that people genuinely want to get involved with and participate in
- Better representation in Parliament
- A freer democracy with more open debate
- A more modern parliament and democracy
- Healthier relationships between the electorate and politicians