Democracy by Machines or Morals?

Compass have today launched an important contribution to the debate over the stance that voters on the centre-left should take to the AV referendum on May 5th. In the pamphlet, entitled “Democracy By Machines or Morals?”, Compass Chair Neal Lawson argues

Of course all these politicians can see different party advantage in one system or another. But
the real differences between them are much more than tactical – they are cultural. The Yes and No
camps represent a different way of conceiving politics and power. That is why what is at stake
on 5 May isn’t just a different way of counting votes but whether Britain is going to start the process of embracing a new politics or will stick with the old”.

“For worthy but ultimately misguided ends the Labour ‘just say No’ brigade have a view of
politics and power that has remained unchanged for over a century and mirrors that of the Tories.
This view is essentially elitist – the party and its leadership know what is best for the people and
will administer change from the top down. Tory deference meets Labour statism and they co-habit
quite happily in the No campaign”.

“Elections fought under AV will force Labour to find common ground with others, to build
alliances, to listen and to debate constructively. It will punish those who seek to destroy others –
that is why the Tories and the BNP are against it. The AV referendum crystallises all of these issues and the campaign itself puts in the shop window two very different ways of being”.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Reply