I did wonder if the world (or this corner of it) really needs another commentator on the election right now, but surely it must be worth any progressive organisation adding its voice to the call for electoral reform as this huge opportunity arises. In answer to the Conservative claim that Labour have lost their right to govern, I’d say so have all the other parties in a first-past-the-post system. Electoral reform for some form of proportional representation will enable less adversorial, more co-operative policymaking and better representation of the electorate’s opinions. It is one of several changes that LWM believes is needed to address our various democratic deficits.
Secondly – why do we allow a panicking herd of cattle so much influence over our economy? I’m referring not to a political party (tempting though that might be) but to the exasperating news that the stock market is taking a plunge as investors show they ‘lack confidence’ in a hung parliament. Have you ever noticed how the stock market seems to lack confidence in everything that most of us see as positive? Obama brings in proposals for risk-reducing banking reform; share prices plummet. The new Indian government budgets for public infrastructure spending; Indian stocks get hammered. A company sheds loads of jobs; share prices rise. A country has a once in a generation opportunity for electoral reform, and those poor boys in the City don’t like it at all.
Whilst socially and environmentally responsible corporate behaviour often leads to long term value gain, short-term investment is governed by hysteria and herd mentality that would be laughable if it didn’t have more power over our economy and society than our votes do. That has to change too. Economic democracy is needed.