The Jury’s Out

Sir Paul Judge recently launched a new UK political movement called The Jury Team which aims to promote and help fund a range of independent candidates as a way of helping to dilute the current two party political system. This is their slightly home made promo. Heart in the right place? Any challenge to the current status quo welcome?

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7 thoughts on “The Jury’s Out

  1. It’s certainly an interesting idea and I will follow it up, so thanks for pointing it out.

    There is a possible paradox in the existence of such a group, however. Presumably its members have some sort of common philosophical base so when it comes to “identifying and promoting suitable independent candidates” (a rough paraphrase of Martin Bell), might they not, even unconsciously choose people of a certain political orientation, thus constituting a de facto political party? For example, would they “promote” someone whose political ideas they personally disliked but who was highly independent?

    So while I agree wholeheartedly with their analysis of what is wrong with British (and European and world) politics, I think the proof of their pudding will be in the eating.

    For years I have struggled with the fact that whatever party I have thought to vote for has always blotted its copy book in some serious way with the result that I have often ended up voting for Party X mainly because Party X has no chance of getting elected. I would like to think that I could at last vote for someone on the basis of a positive evaluation.

    • Hi SilverTiger-I saw Sir Paul Judge on the Daily Politics show (still online) saying his vehicle was a broad church but I have to assume they’d stop short at backing extremist candidates. In theory it sounds good if independents are intended to serve constituents and vote with or against either party in power whilst being free from having any party whip drilling them into voting for what the party wants rather than what their constituent members want.I’d like to see much more power and democracy ant micro local levels but that’s easy for me to say. We’ll see if this movement makes any kind of dent or inspires or enables enough people to consider standing as an independent candidate. It’s at least trying something different.

      • The fact remains, of course, that when a candidate offers him/herself, the “Judgists” will have to decide whether they feel they can support this person according to whatever views s/he expresses. They clearly have to make such a choice. Thus there will inevitably be a filtering effect and supported candidates will fall within a certain – possibly large – ideological envelope.

        I accept the inevitability of this but also see this creating a de facto political party, one that merely lacks the usual party machinery. For consider: suppose they support candidate A on A’s avowed agenda and then, once elected, A reveals a different, more “extremist”, agenda. What do the “Judgists” do then? Why they disown A. This would be a quite proper action but it none the less amounts to keeping the flock within certain ideological boundaries, i.e. acting as a party.

        This may be better than a “proper” party, though the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I will therefore watch its development with interest. After all, in order to have an effect, the independents do not need to be a majority: they simply need to be numerous enough that the winning party cannot operate without their cooperation, though even that is a pretty big mountain to climb and will take some time to achieve.

        The public will also need retraining. They are not used to choosing candidates according to their views and policies. This is the big hurdle that independents face.

        • It does sound a bit Dragons Den doesn’t it. I can see all the potential for the slightly patriarchal approval (or disapproval) process though have to assume if they act even halfway in a benign advocacy role and a candidate amasses enough public support to get elected or show enough initial support then extremist or no they have a place in our so called democratic system.As you say we can only see how this all pans out in practice.

  2. I feel a bit fuzzy about this. I think perhaps I have got it a bit muddled with something you wrote about previously – people being elected by ballot.

    I do favour some random selection method for office – I think it would keep everyone on their toes and introduce some sense of realism. Whether it could work is another matter.

    Politics without parties – I dunno. I gave up on the vid halfway through cos my connection kept making it stop mid-sentence, but I was not convinced by the soundbites on this.

    But it’s good that people are getting on and thinking of alternative approaches not just moaning about the way things are at the moment. Which is what I do!

    • Hi RB-It’s just a vehicle for promoting independent candidates which for me can only be a good thing.Sadly most of us just choose x or y because there isn’t much in the way of another alternative and it’s too hard to get involved personally. Mind you we hardly have strong defining ideological politics anymore so it’s not like there’s any great radical difference between the main two (or three) parties anyway. The link to their website explains it more. The last new political party (which this isn’t, it’s just promoting independent non party political candidates) was the SDP which was also against the yah boo see sawing of the main political parties but didn’t really make a radical enough dent in the political landscape. Interesting that they seem to see MEP’s as an easier way for independent candidates to gain a viable platform.

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