UK election: How to fix politics according to you

Jul 2, 2024 | News

The UK election is only days away, and comes at a moment when trust and confidence are at an all-time low. This disenchantment is not unique to the UK, as shown by the latest British Social Attitudes Survey. Many western democracies struggle to function effectively in the face of converging global crisis.

What needs to be changed to re-engage the people and inspire trust? We asked the Positive News community this question in the lead up to the UK elections. Rarely have we received such a large number of responses. We read them all but, sadly, we couldn’t include each one here. We hope that the selected responses will spark meaningful discussions as a new era for UK politics approaches.

UK election: How to improve our politics according to you

Introduce proportional representation

“Proportional voting is better than the ridiculous binary voting system of first-past-the post.” “More stringent rules and tests to ensure the integrity and moral behavior of politicians.” – Garth (UK)

“A voting system that counts my vote, even if it is for a party in a minority.” – Amanda, St Albans (UK)

Go Local

“First, only candidates from the area should be allowed to run. No “flying-in”. MPs must act with honesty, integrity, and truthfulness. Thirdly, tackling elitism in parliament and misogyny.” – Alison UK

Focus on solutions

“[We] need politicians who understand, communicate with, engage in and offer solutions for the shades of gray and ambiguity that are involved in the challenges we face all.” Faye, London UK

Imagine the entire house sitting around and addressing every issue as a group. What solutions could they come up together? What would they agree on and what ideas and solutions (that are best suited for the people) could follow? Treat the country as a business with a set of agreed values and goals. The MPs are employees and they take care of the customers (the people). If the “staff” are bad at customer service or behave badly, they will be gone. – Jan from London, UK

Create more citizen’s assembly

“I live in America and we’re experiencing a similar political situation, especially with the upcoming election. I think that many people don’t trust anyone. It would be great to find a way to promote transparency in policy making and a connection between candidates and their constituents. I love the idea that a citizen’s advisory board [or citizen assembly] could be chosen by lottery, something completely random where regular people could help bridge the gap.

Create new cross-party groups

“More cross-party working group and cross-party parliamentary legislation would be a big step forward.” The National Health Service, university funding, and pensions, are long-term investments. It doesn’t help that political parties are constantly trying to score points, instead of working to create a sustainable, efficient system for the future.

We need to make wilful dishonesty a crime in politics

No second jobs for MPs

No second jobs for MPs Donations to political parties should be capped. Get dirty money out of politics. – Kelly, Bristol.

End the whip system

“Outlaw the Whip System.” If my elected representative was allowed to vote in secret during parliament, they would care less about their party and more about us, the people who elect them. – Steve, Swindon.

Increase accountability

We need wilful dishonesty in political to be against law: it’s currently so mainstream for our politicians “spin” or mislead us that we don’t pick it up.” – Ella (UK)

“We need to find more ways to hold politicians accountable.” It feels like politicians can break promises, spread falsehoods, or misinformation, and we have no way to stop them unless an election is held soon.” – Char, UK

Make politicians shadow actual people

“Mandatory Shadowing of People Who Would Be Most Impacted by a Particular Change or Policy is a Fantastic Idea that I Would Love to See Implemented.” – Zoe, Hinkley UK

Teach Politics at School

“Politics is something that should be taught at secondary school.” This would encourage young people to become more involved in politics at an earlier age. Pupils need to be taught the basics about tax, pensions, financial planning, credit cards, trade unions, etc. and then introduced to more complicated topics such as policy planning and the voting system.

I would like to see all politicians receive mandatory training in nonviolent communications

Tackle misinformation

“Social media are part of the problem due to how online spaces were designed to grab attention. This means amplifying (often misinformation and disinformation) information that causes outrage. Rewriting their algorithms may be part of the answer. The social media platform Polis was coded to highlight areas where there is consensus across different ideologies. Taiwan has used it to develop actionable results with great success. This would help the public feel heard.” – Emily, UK

“All western liberal democracies will be doomed without agreed facts.” There must be a way to agree and verify facts, so that debates can take place. News was easier to follow in the past when there were fewer agencies. Today, however, sources are many and unreliable. While the truth is so malleable, and the variables are so variable, the politics that grow from this foundation will also be untrustworthy.

End Party Donations

“An End to Party Donations – All Established Parties Should Receive the Same Campaign Funds.” – Anna from London, UK

Pay more to politicians

Separate politics and business by paying politicians appropriately. Conflicting interests are the root of the mistrust which drives disengagement. – Paul, Ontario Canada

Abolishing the House of Lords

“Replace the House of Lords by an elected chamber that can’t include members of the Commons.” “A written constitution that enshrines equality for all and universal voting.” – Matthew from Nottingham, UK

Provide training to MPs

“Mandatory Training in Nonviolent Communication for Every Politician.” – Wynona (UK)

“I would like to hear discussions and debates among people in positions of political power (MPs, Councillors, etc.). Respectful discussions and debates between people in political positions (MPs, councillors, etc.) These people should be trained in how to interact with their colleagues and those from other parties using respectful speech, deep listening and respect. It is important that these people serve as an example for how we should interact with each other and connect with our fellow citizens. Our leaders should aim to fully understand each other’s viewpoints and then respectfully discuss what is best for our people and nation. This would promote a spirit that is inclusive, respectful, trusting, and caring. It would be a great model for all groups and organisations in our country.

Main Image: ArtistGNDphotography/ composite

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