When Two Tribes work together
One feature of the European Union that I admire is the willingness of different political parties to work together when “needs must”.
This is a consequence of a much better voting system, proportional representation, which means that European governments are often in a coalition of different political party’s, rather than the one dogmatic party that seeks to dominate.
In normal life, we all compromise all of the time.
Why should it be different when it comes to governing the country?
The big problem in Britain, which Brexit has exposed, is that we have this awful first past the post system.
It means we get a government that only about a third of voters actually voted for and the unfortunate reality that most votes count for nothing because most constituencies are solid Labour, or solid Conservative and all other political party’s get squeezed out.
Of course, this situation suits both Labour and the Tories who know that one or other party will always be in government, just so long as they can keep “First Past the Post” voting as the way we choose government.
My local Tory MP told me that First Past the Post was the only way we could ensure strong and stable government.
I think events have proved that argument wrong!
As I write this, both Labour supporters and Tory supporters are criticising their leaders for even talking to one another.
This would never happen in European countries who are far more used to co-operating for the greater good.
We can learn from others and we can even learn from our own experience.
One of my greatest achievements was in preventing (of all people) Public Health England from medicating our tap water.
I did a lot of the heavy lifting for the campaign, including gathering thousands of signatures when it wasn’t possible to sign things online.
However, I doubt whether the campaign would have succeeded if the local Tory MP hadn’t joined me and used his influence to help see off the threat.
Neither Dr Lewis or I have changed our political views very much, but a willingness to work together brought about a good result for the people we represent.