English Devolution, National Digital ID and a PR-Based Voting System

Overarching Structure & National Digital ID

The necessity for a strategically planned economy to drive economic growth and to properly develop and resource public services (as previously described) necessitates changes to our voting system and the way that policy and legislation is formed in the House of Commons.

England will now become a devolved country within the Union in the same way as Scotland and Wales. This is mainly because the more representative nature of the reformed Voting System (called “PR4”) would be distorted by the continued presence of MPs from the other GB countries elected on a different basis. The inclusion of those countries within the GBI Reforms would therefore be a matter for their own citizens, their own devolved Governments either remaining as present or coming within their scope.

A New UK Assembly will be introduced to compensate for this structural shift, and to enhance Union cohesion. This Assembly will convene on a pre-scheduled basis for cross-border policy, such as for Transport & Energy infrastructures, Immigration, Pandemic Control, National Security & Defence.  It would be headed by the English PM, with a Cabinet appointed proportionately. The premises of the current House of Lords seems the obvious choice, as this form of “second chamber” would become redundant under the GBI Reforms (being replaced by professional representation of Taxpayers).

A system of National Digital ID will be developed In parallel to the constitutional changes required for the new voting system This will require tax-funding for rollout in 2026 within each of those GB countries that have voted for the GBI Reforms (bringing them into alignment with most other European Countries).

National Digital ID (downloadable to smartphones) is a necessary foundation for demotivating Illegal Immigration, together with other measures to ensure GB offers no tangible benefits to this over France. It will thus be required for access to jobs, education, the NHS and other public services and will be expandable to hold further information (such as for driving licences and linkage to health records).

Principles & Objectives of PR4 Voting

One of the central planks of Strategic New Democracy is to promote and protect it by replacing our divisive 2-Party System by a better, more proportionate system of Representation whilst also ensuring at least four Political Parties active in Parliament.

The assurance of four active Political Parties is of strategic importance. Partly because it becomes a more effective and less confrontational means of “holding Government in Check” than our current 2-Party System and partly because it reduces the risk of extremism and of politically-motivated strikes driven by Union Leaders under the guise of protecting the interests of their members.

Most importantly, this new structure will establish a stable bridge between each 5-yearly Administration and the ongoing custodianship of National Policy by GB Incorporated (as previously described under “Development”). Because the formation of Policy will now be consensus-based, we will no longer require an “overall majority” for strong government, hence eliminating risk of dictatorship or a government given carte-blanche to act as if we live in one.

For these reasons, the characterization of the House of Commons will be changed post-reform into a non-combative debating chamber for the objective formation of policy and legislation aligned with National Strategy to drive strategic continuity. The Shadow Cabinet will therefore be abolished.

Method of Voting

We will vote for a single Political Party or Independent MP in our Constituency’s local polling station, using a paper voting slip, just as we do now.  However, in order to deliver better proportionality, and meet our new democratic and socioeconomic objectives, the Candidate MP we vote for will contest a wider geographic Area in which we live – a Block of 4 Constituencies.

Each citizen will therefore become represented in Parliament within a Block of 4 Constituencies and that Block will always represented by 4 MPs of different Parties and/or Independents.  The total number of MPs therefore remains approximately the same.  However, the maximum number of MPs any one Party may have in any Administration is therefore a quarter the total number of seats (explained further below under “Proportionality”).

This arrangement ensures there are always at least 4 National Parties active in Parliament, minimizing the risk of authoritarian government and holding the current Administration “in check” – reducing confrontational politics and driving unity into the country by ending the concept of “The Government Opposition”.  This then refocuses the Government’s imperative from fighting it off (to retain power above all else) to focus on serving the needs of the people and in representing the country internationally.

To accommodate this Block structure, the number of Constituencies in each Country adopting GBI Reform must therefore always be divisible by 4.  For example, the number of Constituencies in England could be reduced from 533 to 532 (133 Blocks). The number in Scotland could be increased from 59 to 60 (15 Blocks) and the number in Wales could remain at 40 (10 Blocks). Blocks may need to span Counties in some cases.

Appointing MPs & Achieving Proportionality

Any number of National Parties or Independent Candidates may contest a Constituency Block in a General Election, each fielding a single Candidate. 

After the Poll closes, all Candidate MPs outside of the top 4 in each Constituency Block are eliminated and their votes re-apportioned.  Each Constituency will then be assigned an MP. This will be Block’s elected MP that had that Constituency’s highest portion of the vote. He/she would then attend a Local Surgery Office as at present (except this will no longer be Party-specific).

Each of the top 4 elected MPs is then assigned a PWF (Parliamentary Weighting Factor) depending on the proportion of the Vote they received in their Block. In this way, the more popular MPs in their Blocks carry more parliamentary influence than those less so. It also gives more potential influence to Independent MPs, encouraging more citizens to stand for election.

The PWF is then linked to each MP’s Parliamentary Personnel Record and automatically applied with each vote in the Commons Voting Lobbies, an audit trail being automatically recorded to provide a historic record and resolve any disputes.

Appointing the Prime Minister & Cabinet

After the Poll closes and the proportionality rules have been applied, the leader of the Party with the highest popular vote is appointed as PM. To minimize change from the current system, and to promote strong government, he/she would them appoints Ministers of his/her choosing.

Due to the nature of the PWF-weighting method, this could easily be easily changed in the future so that the Cabinet becomes formed on a proportional basis to the overall popular vote.

Increasing the Scope & Quality of Representation

A further objective of the new voting system is to make it far easier and less expensive to form new National Parties, it being necessary to field anywhere between two Candidates to the maximum of a quarter of the number of parliamentary seats.  This should encourage innovation and new ideas into Government.  By the same token, increasing the number of Independent Candidates that will now stand a realistic chance of election.

As the number of Candidate MPs the Major Parties are able to field is reduced by 75%, this will naturally drive them to select those considered to be their best talent in order to win votes.

As Government is televised with a minimum of 4 Parliamentary Parties, their mission becomes one of being seen to perform well in Parliament (both in constructive debate and in holding the Government to Account) in order to obtain more votes in the next General Election, hence a higher PWF, increasing their political influence and chances of forming the next Administration.

The objective therefore, is to promote a Government of meritocracy, where minor Parties (the Greens for example) would have a much higher public profile with many more seats in Parliament, enabling them to better promote their views and policies. However, their combined policy influence in the voting lobbies would be proportional to the number of people that voted for them.

Policy & Budget Formation

Under Strategic New Democracy, policy becomes formed under the professional custodianship of GB Incorporated (as described under “Development”) and is then published for ongoing appraisal as circumstances and technologies change.

For example, the Labour Party may prioritise our existing Healthcare Strategy, the Green Party our Renewable Energy Strategy etc, proposing different taxation and NI rates accordingly. In this way we loose the risks of ill-considered populist policies created principally for political power whilst clarifying our voting choices, making them less subjective.

Naturally, Political Parties will sometimes wish to drive beneficial change by proposing change to National Strategy themselves. For example, Labour might propose in its Manifesto to take our Railways into public ownership. Such a strategically important response is no longer left to the public, principally because the vast majority will be ill-qualified to judge. Also, as just one element in a package of possibly many policies, we could never know the proportion of Labour voters that actually agreed with it. They might have voted simply to ditch a Tory Government, ignoring Labour policies altogether. Hardly a way to form critical national strategy impacting future generations.

For this reason, new or changed national strategy in any particular economic sector, is reached by a majority vote between 5 parties (representatives from each of the top-4 Parliamentary Parties and GBI Professionals). This is done taking the number of Parliamentary Seats into account, but not exclusively (as is done at present, where an overall majority is used to “force through” policies). Obviously where policy amendments are required, this then becomes an iterative process.

To protect the interests of Taxpayers, all Government Budgets (including “Mini-Budgets”) will be required by statute to be pre-assessed by independent professionals from GB Incorporated and to be changed if they are deemed to present an unacceptable economic risk or become misaligned to the country’s strategic objectives.

Impact on Local Democracy

GBI Policy is to consider National Parties out of context in Local Government.  That a growth of Local Parties and Independent Councillors is important for local democracy, increasing the involvement and influence of each citizen in the community in which they live.  Local Democracy is otherwise unaffected by the GBI Reforms.

Impact on National Unity & Industrial Relations

Replacing the Parliamentary 2-Party “capitalist / socialist” structure with one guaranteeing at least 4 active parties in Parliament, will have the effect of depolarizing our society, the key to achieving national common-purpose.

It will also have the effect of de-politicizing Industrial disputes – demotivating extreme left-wing Trade Union Leaders intent on bringing a “capitalist” Government down in the guise of representing the grievances of their members.

Together with a professionally-planned infrastructure (of healthcare, railways etc) combined with the motivation of Economic Growth fundamental to the GBI objectives, it would be reasonable to assume a markedly reduced number of Industrial Strikes post GBI Reform.

© Albert Smart 2023

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