Disclaimer: Articles on this website are written from the perspectives of various Localists, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Local Matters. Our contributors come from a wide array of varying political backgrounds, and we believe that cooperation across the political spectrum is essential.

In the United Kingdom, the last century has been dominated by two political parties; the Conservatives and the Labour party. The pairing essentially took turns in their attempts at an abusive, autocratic reign, veiled with promises to the progressives and favours for the fortunate. This isn’t isolated to just the U.K. either, but other western nations – especially the United States This wouldn’t be much of an issue if the two parties weren’t so, more often than not, dangerously similar.

Truthfully, the Conservatives and Labour party are, as the colloquialism goes, two sides of the same coin (as are the Democrats and Republicans across the pond). Any two major political parties in the western world that proclaim to either be Conservative or Social Democratic are neither Conservative nor Socially Democratic. Again, two sides of the same coin. However, even if they were diametrically opposed to one another, can we really say that two choices – especially when it comes to something as important as governance – is an adequate choice?

If you were to step foot in a restaurant and be given two meal choices, one being tomato soup and another being chicken soup, would you bother to stick around? I find it unlikely that you would, even if you loved tomato soup and chicken soup. So, if that is the case, why do people put up with what is essentially a two-party system, a system that actually actively works against smaller parties? One need only look at the total votes in comparison to total seats gained for parties like the Green Party and UKIP in recent parliamentary elections to understand the disparity and unfairness that underpins our democracy as of late.

It gets worse, however, because even with additional political parties that add a greater variety of choices, as William Riker pointed out in his intriguing (albeit flawed) Liberalism Against Populism, people are more likely to prefer two choices over multiple ones. In addition, and, rather alarmingly, we even tend to fall victim to irrationality if multiple choices are given to us (See Arrow’s Theorem, page 115).

Representative democracy; the best out of a bad situation or a complete irrational, decadent failure waiting to happen? That remains to be seen, but even if we prefer fewer choices, and even if – in this thought experiment – the differences or similarities between the parties is inconsequential, we come to the following worrying conclusion; we have had the wool pulled over our eyes the entire time.

Two-party system, a multi-party system beneath our current first-past-the-post voting system; both are deeply flawed at best and incompatible with society at worst.

There is only one goal for these parties, one unifying belief that steers the rudder that is their political ideology; money. Any and all of their policies are derived by the simple concept that they must bring the nation – in open competition with other nations – to financial superiority. This is the guiding, unifying light; the single most important thing to strive for in the brutal storm that is the world economy. 

There is no longer true unity around ideals or beliefs, no matter how hard they wish to try and convey it as such with their shallow, hollow attempts at playing identity politics when and where it suits them. We are all British, yet we are all simultaneously shoved into one group or the other and thus marketed and campaigned to in a specific way, whichever way will be manipulate us into thinking X party truly cares about us, and this isn’t just a problem with left-wing parties. Make no mistake about it, those of the centre and of the right play the exact same game, their adherents just as ready to say whatever, to whoever, in order to be elected and increase their annual salary. Again, we all want fairer work spaces, a better economy, greater representation, all of these things, yet the people who are backing It will push whatever spiel the party has chosen to run, the spiel that they believe will get them elected – not the one that will carve a better Britain out.

It is all so tiring, and it is all so obvious. Modern politics hardly draws those with genuine values or integrity, and any of those who do join have it squeezed out of them by the juicer that is the party structure. If you want to make it in a party, you will follow the rules. If you don’t, you won’t make it, or you’ll go to a smaller party, or run as an independent, yet your chance to rise to any semblance of prominence in politics will be severely neutered if you do so. The system is designed to fail the just, and that’s just how it goes and will go for the foreseeable future.

Here’s the thing; we are witnessing (and have been witnessing for some time now) a metapolitical, geopolitical, party political tug of war; where the only factor that differentiates the two teams is not their beliefs, backgrounds, ethics or ideals, nothing transcendental, philosophical, humanist or spiritual, but merely the colours they wear and the names they call themselves.

Essentially, modern, representative democracy has been one step away from autocracy for the past century. If all it takes to call a system of governance a democracy is the interchangeable rule of two, what kind of message does that send? The problem is, even with a greater split of the popular vote – as we have had in the UK more so than our American brethren, for example – they are still the same in their goals.

Labour, Conservative, UKIP, Lib Dems; all cry and shout about egalitarianism and equality, their voices hawking an ideology that promotes a brotherhood of nations, peoples, and cultures – until it comes to money. When money is involved, that is where competition is to be found. That isn’t inherently a bad thing, the world runs on money after all, however we need the world to be run on more than that. We cannot allow ourselves to answer to numbers on a screen or the amount of plastic notes in our wallets, the faces of whichever president, prime minister, king or queen staring back at us sardonically. 

When you attempt to shut down and unify absolutely everyone around everything – except for one thing – then you know where their interests truly lie. Not that it had to be pointed out, it is obvious money rules these people. The sky is blue, fire is hot, our leaders are unethical, money and power-driven individuals with a fetish for pushing that GDP line a little higher every day – you get the deal.

All for one, and one for all, united beneath the banner of the world economy and all its currency – bar that silly cryptocurrency, not because it’s used for evil means since the rest of the global currencies have all been used for far more nefarious reasons for god knows how much longer – but because they didn’t make it, and they can’t control it.

We are set against other nations, struggling to swim to the top just so we can catch our breath for a moment before sinking back down again, the ball and chain of finance dragging us back to our doom.

Naturally – and bombastic prose aside – anything, anyone, and any nation that sets its sights outside of that of the central banking system is the enemy, and that of course makes perfect sense, and I in no way support such an anti-financial centralisation outlook. Never, ever in my life.

So, what is the answer then? A different political system? An alternative voting system? Just more parties?

The answer is as follows; don’t vote for the major parties. Look to alternatives, be they an alternative party or an alternative group, such as Local Matters. If you care about your region, your nation and humanity as a whole, the right move is the move they don’t want you to play; refutation.

Refute their identity politics, refute their thinly veiled attempts at convincing the public they are their servants. Refute the poison that spills from their mouths at every opportunity. The best move is to not move at all.

Leave their game, and set your eyes to a greater horizon, free from the shackles of the self-serving, pen-pushing parliamentarism.