S is for... Society
Before reading this post. Let it be known to all that my knowledge of history is pretty atrocious. Given who I am and what it requires of someone to look into, study, learn and remember history(looking back over the past), I think I can forgive myself for not really knowing much about it in great detail. Again, I have just enough education to perform. But I've always been more interested in creating and 'looking to the future'. Because that's how shit gets done. That's also how shit gets better.
At school when it came to history, when I was in my teens, I was too busy playing footsie and pissing around. Because, I found history a bit boring, it required me to reflect on things, something which I didn't always enjoy doing. And the way teachers engaged with you over it wasn't always motivating. Plus clearly my hormones were all over the shit as I hit puberty. Puberty and history don't really match up easily mate. Unless we are going to study the history of sex. Start by watching American Pie.
I do remember a poster on the wall though, in one of our classrooms, which said something like, but I don't remember it saying exactly this,
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
That is a quote from George Santayana. It didn't say that on the wall from what I remember. It just said the quote. I was today years old when I found out George Santayana said that.
History teachers take note, EVERY history lesson should start with this quote. That is literally ALL I needed to know from history class. I don't need to know everything about everything; all these different cultures and times and places and events. Like, it's cool, I respect it, I appreciate I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for all that stuff happening. But that isn't helping me live in the now is it? Like, someone teach me how to do a tax-return, or someone teach me how to drive a car, or someone teach me how to cook. Or... someone teach me how to talk to people!
But that isn't history Chris?
Isn't it? Pretty sure they used to do tax-returns differently in the past? Driving was different in the past? Cooking was done differently in the past? TALKING TO PEOPLE was different in...oh wait...what's that thing called? Oh yeah, history!
What history should be about is self-discovery. Let my curiosity and interests dictate what I want to learn about. There is no greater catalyst than enthusiasm. But, I get that it's easier to teach a topic en masse. But I do know this, you can't teach en masse if you don't have collective focus. Not easily anyway. My point is, focus on the now and work from there.
Anyway, history is not exactly today's topic of society is it? Back to the point.
I want the UK to try Proportional Representation. Er, random. No mate, remember today's post is about society. The whole history thing is a link. The repeating itself bit, remember?
Anyway, this is why I want to try it.
Because I am human, and I want to be respected. Pretty sure you want to be respected, and supported too.
I think I am respected and supported. By my family, by my friends and by almost any person I encounter on a daily basis. I’ve made it to 33 years old after all. I must be doing something right. Woohoo for me! I am obviously disrespected by people every now and again. Rightly, or wrongly. My point is I'm not a mob boss. I don't demand respect.
But I don't think I am wholly respected and supported by the structure of my country. I think I am a little bit disrespected by my country. I mean shit, talk about a family of misfits. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You lot are all going to be the United Kingdom. Whether you like it or not. Clearly, some of you don't like it. Well, tough shit. Plus, that isn't even one country. That's a group of countries. Anyway,
Allow me to present my reasoning for why I think Proportional Representation is a good thing. What, what.
If you are compos mentis you have a mind. If you have a mind you have opportunity. If you have opportunity you the have situation of making choices, and correct me if I’m wrong but you want your choices to mean something. You want them to count for something. You want them to be the right choices. You want your opinion to be heard and you want it to be acknowledged. You want your decisions to benefit you and those that you care about.
Sometimes you don’t want your decisions to benefit others, because sometimes other people are dicks and you don’t think they deserve it. You could be right. But you know - maybe you are a dick for not wanting them to benefit. What’s your justification? Either way, just pointing out that being spiteful is a thing. Sometimes you don't want to benefit others. Proportional Representation even takes that into account. Because, Proportional Representation means that it's more likely that we get a coalition. If we have a coalition, we have a team. And if you don't want someone to benefit from something then in a coalition it probably won't happen.
But life is going to carry on with or without you. So a coalition will normally sift out the fundamentals that are needed to get by.
Now Proportional Representation doesn’t mean that you will always get what you want. Because let’s be honest, sometimes you don’t actually know what’s best for you, anyway.
Remember a time when you were a child and someone stopped you from doing something? But you really badly wanted to do it. But they knew better because they were more experienced. Note, I said more experienced. Not necessarily older, or wealthier, or more intelligent, or beautiful, or ugly, or faster etc.
Just, more experienced. Like you know, they had perhaps learnt from history?
This person had your best intentions at heart. Because they knew the damage you would do to yourself. Because you couldn’t see what the outcomes of your actions would be. They stopped you.
Thank goodness for the times those people intervened.
Proportional Representation might not give you want you want in terms of results. But I think Proportional Representation does mean that you get acknowledged. I think it means that you get heard. I think it gives you want you want in terms of processes.
Like it or lump it, we the United Kingdom are one big fucking team. And most of you will know, there are times when you don’t always like your teammates. Shit, sometimes you don’t even like your family. Shiiiit, sometimes you don’t even like your pet because they do something to piss you off. And sometimes you don't like yourself. What a nightmare.
Proportional Representation in my eyes means - collaboration. I couldn’t have been happier at all the times we’ve had a coalition.
Because that means all these political pricks actually have to talk to each other. The get challenged. But they get challenged in a process where they have to come to some kind of agreement. But that only happens in a coalition. When we have a majority government they don't get challenged in the same way. A majority have more control to make changes. If you want more collaboration you want Proportional Representation. Because with Proportional Representation you have more coalitions.
No one said we all had to like each other. Fuck, if you really want to, hate someone. You are allowed to do that, just don’t be a cunt. Hate someone, but just be civil.
I mean, we don't have to discuss politics on the daily basis. That's not what I want to do either. But I do want the politicians to discuss politics properly. If people aren't being represented, whether I agree with them or not, I believe that is going to hinder progress. It means you aren't taking everyone's opinion on board. And if you feel like you are being disrespected and ignored you get pissed off. Fact.
Allow me to quote.
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Evelyn Beatrice Hall
Politicians are arseholes, but not all of them are arseholes. You possibly know one. Maybe they are alright. But it’s the system as much as anything that makes them arseholes. It’s literally their job to be wankers. Change the system, get a new type of arsehole. Maybe even get someone that isn't an arsehole at all.
Think of it this way, if I gave you the choice of a bunch of arseholes, and I said pick your favourite, I bet you could justify why you liked some more than others. Isn't that what we are doing most of the time anyway?
Listen, I've always voted. I've not necessarily always been well informed. But I have always voted. But then again, I've got a life to live and to try and keep my shit together. National politics isn't always top of my list of priorities. I believe in, get your own house in order before you start discussing with the others the state of theirs. I've got my own personal politics to worry about. We all do. If you must know, at different times I've voted Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Labour. I don't recall voting for anyone else. Truth is I'd like to vote for the Green Party because they give a fuck about the environment and sustainability. Oh, and they want Proportional Representation. Which is so cool I think. They want to get into power to change the political system to a system where they know, FULL WELL, that they likely won't have a majority of the votes next time around. But they want to be heard and respected AND are prepared to work as a team, AND have the bottle to say that's what they want to try and do.
But we all know in this current political system a vote that isn't Red or Blue is a wasted vote.
Which again is why I think Proportional Representation is a good thing. I've got enough shit to worry about without trying to figure out how the country should be run. But oh wait, on the horizon, people who are supposed to discuss this idea. It's almost like they get paid to do it on my behalf. Politicians.
Truth is, there will probably, hopefully, never be a time again when there is ONE ruling party. Because that isn't a version of democracy. That is a dictatorship. We are supposed to have differences of opinion. You literally cannot escape that fact. Every generation that comes through has different experiences, and therefore a different perspective, and therefore different opinions. The challenge is getting everyone to work together as a team despite of all of these differences.
If you want anymore proof that Proportional Representation is worth exploring.
Krist Novoselic of Nirvana is now the Chair of FairVote. Now this focuses it's efforts primarily on the United States. But the principles are the same. Proportional Representation.
If you need something from someone closer to home that you maybe admire.
I give you, Mr. John Cleese. Supporter of Make Votes Matter. The UK equivalent of FairVote. Proportional Representation.
Now if you are thinking like,
Chris if you know so much why don't you run for parliament or your council?
Fair question, but as you should know, politics is about negotiating, compromise and sacrifice. So here's my proposal.
If you can get more than 80% of the electorate to turn out and vote, and still want me to run for it, then I'll do it. Keep in mind an 80% turnout is something that hasn't happened since the start of the 1950s.
Or, you could just explore Proportional Representation because that's all I'd be campaigning for anyway. After I got it, I'd probably resign because I believe the system would be better and would take care of itself.
"You can call me a lot of things. But as well as calling me a liar, one thing you can call me is honest." - Chris Davy
Who doesn’t love a good quote?
Hmmmm, tricky one...kind of contradicts the point of the article. Oh hang on, wait a second. I have an idea.
”Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” - Winston Churchill
Songs to listen to now:
Society - Eddie Vedder