Friday, May 29, 2015

Reforms: Electoral and Media

So in the UK, the Tories, the Conservatives of the much-hated British austerity, have won again. As Brad Delong observed, "So Britain now shifts from a 59%-supported government to a 37%-supported government? And this is supposed to be a good system?" How is this possible? First: the Tories slacked off on the austerity for the last six months, and none of the other parties have called them on it, second, Scottish National Party split the Labour vote, third, Labour has become moderately conservative, and bleeds energy and enthusiasm to the Greens of various shades.

Above all is the British plurality ("first past the post") voting system and the British media, heavily influenced by the radical-right Rupert Murdoch, which has been talking up austerity and spreading deficit hysteria. If a family followed the debt-panic model of the right-wing media, it would pay down its credit card debt before paying its rent.

Which leads to a reform program:

  1. Media reform. We have known since the 1930s that politically-dominated mass media can enormously and quickly swing public opinion. In the wake of World War II, laws were written to reduce this domination, and these have been steadily weakened, until a single person, Rupert Murdoch, has created major radical right media organizations in the USA and UK. How can one have any meaningful political dialogue when the only major political media voice is right wing? The mind cannot soar on one wing!
  2. Electoral reform. It's become very obvious that democracy in the UK and the USA both are in dire need of electoral reforms, including: (1) Instant-runoff, ranked-choice, or some similar system (2) mandatory citizenship voting (3) "none of the above" as a choice.

2 comments:

The Blog Fodder said...

Agree on all counts

The Raven said...

Well, thank you. Enough agreement and maybe we can actually change something.

Hey, a bird can dream.