199 Seats and No Light On


Viikko 4

Motion: THW increase the amounts paid in support of political parties
Role: Secretary (opp.)
Date: Oct 25th, 2013

In my opinion, what is wrong with democracy is parties. They water down what might work without them, if all went well otherwise. In the following, I’m going to enumerate everything that is wrong with partisan politics. These themes range from international to local, as parties are a part of all levels of governance.

  1. Parties mess up the European Union. Even if nations do not match each other, the push to lump kindred parties together from all countries prevails in the European Parliament. Forming blocks like Lego® bricks is no more useful on THAT level than on any of the lower (national and subnational) levels.
  2. Parties receive subsidies from the state. These are meant for advertising and administrative costs. However, on the most basic level, ads during elections are free, as all the names have been printed on the bill of candidates. Knowing who is behind every photograph and who stands for what party and what kind of politics would lead to an enlightened choice. Parties state that ALL the parties NEED monetary assistance, for otherwise rightwingers and right-wing parties would get all the votes, as they have the means to put ads out there out of their own pocket, as they represent vested interests and private capital. But what I’m saying is that people would vote for the underdog, if there was only ONE party buying ads and making a name for itself, for people are not slavish in a democracy. In the present situation, for all that, there are ”no” underdogs.
  3. Parties distort representational democracy by enforcing the so-called party discipline. If MPs could vote as they pleased, voting results might be interesting and worth observing in the national newspapers. Major decisions might get totally unexpected outcomes. MPs should go to the parliament under some pre-determined flag, then vote genuinely and unbiasedly as themselves and their true personal opinions, be accountable for the tenor of their voting and switch parties at the end of a political season, if it was clear they were of a different political colour. We know for sure that people are contradictory, and they should be given the right to be that way without attendant guilt. Indivi-duality would count then.
  4. Parties form majority govts today for fear of being dissolved too early. Instead of partisan govts, we could have just a bunch of ministers who would be chosen on the grounds of their personal merit suiting the task and possibly votes received for the post. When a minister resigned, due to an oft-happening political ”scandal”, (s)he would not be replaced from the same party but from, possibly, other end of the spectrum of politics, again based on meritocracy.
  5. Majority govts make the opposition redundant for the remainder of the political term. Nothing it says matters, really, as the real debate is waged on the pages of the media between journos and pols. Interpellations and question hours are farcical rituals which only go to prove the amount of friction there is between the all and sundry reps. But, we knew that already. ”I know best” rules. Paying the opposition MPs for four years without an effect is a waster of taxpayer money, and a very dear one at that considering all the collateral costs such as aides’ salaries and field trips.
  6. Smaller parties behind the 8 major parties never get any say or representation in the parliament due to the ”gerrymandering” of politics. They exist for years on end without an effect, and something should be done about them. In a house of 199 seats, they could be the first ones to be let in, one seat per one diminutive party, leaving 191 seats left for the bigger seat-grabbers that our ruling parties are. Over time, the underdogs might earn more seats, if their politics appealed to the masses.

All in all, I have tried to say that democracy does not prevail under the thumb of parties — and those parties decidedly do not deserve more money to shore up themselves — as democracy is something else than what they represent. Representation is the biggest victim here and politocracy is the biggest winner. We should reinvent democracy without parties.

Thank you.

Puheen kesto: 6 min 13 sek
Arvio: * * * * *. Puhe on pitkä, ytimekäs ja jopa hieman vallankumouksellinen. Se menee poliittisen puheen ytimeen, vaikka sitä tuskin mikään poliittinen puolue hyväksyisikään. Sen rakenne on hyvä ja lopetus täydellinen. Kysymyksiin jää aikaa korkeintaan yhdelle; toivottavasti niitä ei tulisikaan, vaan ne tulisivat ilmi seuraavan puhujan puheessa.



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