Democracy, democracy, what a lark?
In the UK The Labour party, still the champion of the left, is tearing itself apart because of a democratic idea that one man one vote should determine who leads the parliamentary labour party. This might have sounded a good idea at the time.
However there is a contrary view which argues that the members of parliament are elected by millions of voters and it is those elected individuals who should choose their parliamentary party leader.
Most MP’s at least when they are first elected do so because of their ability to persuade the electorate that they are the best person to represent their views. Those elected MP’s represent not only those who voted for them but all their constituents irrespective of their party loyalties.
The UK electorate is by and large middle of the road with the classic divide of rural and urbanised classes. Labour rule the industrial heart lands and the Tories the Shires and the services economic centres. There is a great cultural divide that effects the fringes of society, so as society moves from an industrial one to a knowledge based one, then there is a very slow shift from the left and right toward the centre ground. Today the great mass of the electorate straddle the middle ground the centre left and centre right.
A small minority are marooned extreme left and extreme right. They are very noisy from the UKIP right to the Momentum left. These people are influencers, as shown by the great Brexit fiasco where another democratic experiment went seriously wrong for the governing party of the day.
It is now Momentum and extreme left affiliates who are dominating the struggle to keep Corbyn as leader of the labour party simply because these ‘extremists’ are motivated to buy a membership and buy the chance to vote.
Anyone with common sense must understand that neither extreme right nor extreme left will win British hearts and minds in a general election. If Corbyn is elected again and fails to gain the support of the parliamentary Labour party, then that will condemn Labour as we know it today into perpetual opposition. Such a move will also effectively disenfranchise the ordinary labour voter. Such a schism will almost certainly see the labour movement split into a Social Democratic party of the centre left and Marxist labour party of the extreme left.
The difference between the two, the moderate and the extreme is that the moderate understands the need to incentivise as well as to support. They see a dynamic society where aspiration and innovation has a place. The extreme left focus on social needs with an accent on the underprivileged, a focus on egalitarianism, social uniformity, and big government in everything from nationalisation to comprehensive education.
No one is saying that the sentiments of the far left are wrong, caring for each other in any context has to be right. However many see the overbearing nanny state as something to avoid, and anyway hard left socialism doesn’t work. ( see: East Germany, Poland, etc)
In the USA, democracy has thrown up Donald Trump, I use the words advisedly. Let’s hope democracy on both sides of the pond and from opposite spectrums, does not yield results that nobody wants