Having spent the weekend at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference in York, United Kingdom, I was immediately struck by the clear desire for the party to reform and evolve on the basis of vision created and voted on by its members. All around the exchange of ideas, opinions and views could be found in organised meetings, debates, Q&As or simply over a pint in the Conference Hotel bar. It was easy to question how such a whirlwind of emotion and sentiment would not culminate in utter chaos. But it didn’t.
Standing in the eye of the storm, watching the blur of delegates, MPs and dignitaries pass me by, it was clear what separated the party from others. While it is no big secret, particularly to party members themselves, it is the only truly fully democratic party in the UK, allowing its members to have a voice for and against various matters and vote on them fairly. Even the party leader himself is not immune to the rule of all and while some may see that as weak, it is the understanding that absolute power corrupts absolutely that further separates the LibDems from the rest.
However it got me thinking. I spent many of my formative years the United States, a country in clear need of political reform. In fact I would go so far as to say it has been in dire need of it for well over a century, but most certainly in the wake of a post World War 2 world where ever evolving civil liberties and technological modernity has dramatically impacted the world in which we live. No longer are laws and statutes written for a bygone era politically or even humanistically viable. When a country can be held to ransom and crippled by it’s own representatives simply to cost a President the ability to effectively lead, it is clear that the system has become cancerous.
Until such a time as there is true and clear reform of the political lobbying system as well as campaign financing in the United States, and the people – you remember them, but if you can it starts with “We the People of the United States..” – themselves have a direct share in this reform in the form of referendums voted upon nationwide, then change will not occur and the cyclical issues keeping anything remotely resembling bi-partisan governing, which our founding fathers had hoped we would attempt to work at, will happen.