Should we abolish parties in politics?
After this year's melodrama with hung parliaments and coalition governments, has politics become too focused on party rather than policy? And could we envisage a nonpartisan system of government, perhaps similar to that of Republican Rome, but where politicians can be individually elected and removed based upon personal views and promises, rather than the 'Party Line'. And have stereotypes ruined any chance of progressive politics through party system?
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Political Parties come from an era of stable ideological alliances that has now passed
Since Margaret Thatcher broke the power of the unions and replaced a structured society of differentiated ambitions and expectations with universal aspiration for wealth, the rise of middle class centrism has made redundant the 100 year old tradition of the Labour party and the older distinction between conservatives and liberals.
Instead, elections are now won by the most convincing occupant of the middle ground - tough enough on immigration and crime, effective at running the economy, able to promote prosperity while preserving the NHS and looking after the vulnerable...there was no major ideological distinction between parties in the 2010 election and to retain them merely fosters the illusion that there is.
The public is now delineated along different lines that are more related to age, ethnicity, and single-issue opinions than an overall outlook on life that a party might plausibly represent, and to retain a situation in which a majority of people are voting for a party with which they disagree on major issues is fundamentally anti-democratic.
A significant rise in smaller parties could address this, but only if the electoral system was changed to enable people to vote nationally not locally.
Political Parties came from the idea that two people with similar ideals will 'team up'
You are not restricted, nor are you forced into a party. The reason people affiliate themselves with these parties is because they have same ideals and values. If you were to abolish the party system it would not only complicate the way in which a majority claim 'government,' but it would also be useless because people would side together because of what they believe and don't believe
Parties may have begun with people choosing to affiliate themselves, but now dominate - if you wish to achieve any legislation, it is almost impossible as an independent except on local issues. Not having parties could mean people side together on individual issues they believe in rather than being forced to accept or reject a party's whole doctrine, leading potentially to more carefully thought out legislation.
What do you think?