Tag Archives: socialism

Representation and Socialism

My friends and I have been fascinated with the Political Compass for a while but one thing that always bothered me was how the major parties, according to their charts and research, are not all that different. This made me think – If I’m not truly represented, how many people are? With this in mind I got some family and friends to do the PC Test and send me their results. The results, in my opinion, were unanimous. Even those who were to the right were still not truly represented never mind us poor lefties.

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With the two main parties, Labour and Conservatives, both in the top right and extremely close together is there any party with a chance at government who seems to represent the masses. It certainly doesn’t seem that way. Many people made the comment “well I guess I’ll start voting green then!”

But in a First-past-the-post voting system is that even viable? In my opinion there are probably three options.

1. We need an overhaul of the voting system. People who know me may know I voted ‘No’ to AMS last year. That is a decision I almost immediately regretted. My logic was that an AMS system may result in undesirable parties such as BNP and UKIP gaining a fair few number of seats, but why are the major parties all that more desirable. Granted, there isn’t the same degree of bigotry but at the end of the day it seems most parties are just looking after their rich buddies. If the AMS vote was to be held tomorrow I would vote ‘Yes’ without hesitation. When voting anything but Labour, Conservatives or SNP is viewed as a wasted vote there is something very wrong and how, in a democratic country, can a vote ever be a wasted one.

2. Labour needs to go back to ‘Old Labour’. Let’s face it, as a party that is still affiliated with Socialist International they’re pretty piss poor socialists. The Labour manifesto has not even contained the term ‘socialism’ since 1992 and yet this is meant to be our alternative to the Conservatives? What alternative is there actually being proposed when they’re still struggling to get away from Blairism. Thatcher was asked what her greatest achievement was, she replied, “Tony Blair and New Labour. We forced our opponents to change their minds.” Well now it’s time to change them back. Now it’s time to go back to ‘Old’ Labour. The change in Labour throughout the years is simply staggering.

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3. We need a new party on the left! This, I think, is the most important thing if not only as another option but to force Labour into thinking about their current ways and possibly changing them. There are of course a number of real left leaning parties such as the SSP and Respect but nothing with a solid leadership and the ambition to go to the masses. With growing movements such as the People’s Assembly this is starting to happen but it’s not nearly vocal and big enough. Without following Owen Jones on Twitter, a columnist for The Independent and self-proclaimed “fourth generation socialist”. I would never have even known The Peoples Assembly existed. However they still only have two groups in Scotland! One in Glasgow and one in Fife.

As I said before even the people I know on the right do not truly line up with the political parties nowadays and those on the left, well, they aren’t even close. Though one thing I found truly fascinating was although most people I talked to were left to very left many cringed at the idea of being a Socialist.

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(Ignore my appalling photoshop skills)

Why do people want to stay away from the term socialism so much? I put it down to the fact that it is often said as a form of extremism as is often the case in America. This is however not the case, socialism is not some big scary ideology that will take away all of your personal wealth and make sure you will get paid the same as the person the empties your bins twice a week. Communism is, incredibly, just the most extreme version of socialism. As fascism is the most extreme version of authoritarianism and anarchy of libertarianism. I also found that people (including myself) often look at capitalism and socialism as black and white when there are hundreds of shades of grey. As I say in my ‘About Me’ I believe in Social Democracy which is a sort of lovely mix of the two in which people have the ability to make personal fortunes but not at the detriment of their fellow man.

Unsurprisingly this brings me back to my first post. Just because some silly Republicans in America use socialism as an insult don’t be afraid of calling yourself one and before you dismiss it entirely, research it. It may not be as bad as you think.

For those of you interested the following chart is my results from the Political Compass and if you are interesting in taking the test yourself you can take it by going to –http://www.politicalcompass.org/test

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Feel free to post your test results and compare.

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