The question of why we need political parties has long irked me. I believe the nature of a political party is conceptually at odds with democracy and should be abolished in favour of representatives voting either with their conscience or what they reasonably believe to be the will or in the best interests of their constituents.
Why? What's wrong with political parties you might ask? You only need look as far as the definition of democracy.
Political parties create disproportionate representation when politicians are forced to vote along party lines irrespective of how a politician's constituents may feel about the bill. This creates a representative democracy where the elected representatives doesn't necesssarily represent their electorate. Essentially, you can have the will of the minority forced upon the majority.n 1: the political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives 2: a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them 3: the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group
For an example of this in action, you only need look as far as today's news in which Ex President of the ALP observed that the formation of Labor's policy on Uranium mining will most likely be decided next April on factional lines rather than necessarily a majority.
On the other side of the house, look to John Hyde Page's recently published book, "The Education of a Young Liberal" where the author describes first hand examples of people being bullied and threatened to maintain certain points of view.
There are many, many more examples of the failure of democracy as a result of the party-based system we employ, but these examples have both come to light in the past fortnight.
So what do you think? Is my point valid? Is it the best compromise? Or am I just a raving, frustrated lefty?
Why can't we just put everything to a referendum?!