Friday, August 27, 2010

Anyone for a Bring-A-Policy Party?

When I was a much younger man, I sometimes went to the kind of party where lots of young adults arrived bringing various kinds of alcohol, which went on the table for each to help themselves to whatever selection they fancied, from whatever had been brought.

The other day, suffering a less physical kind of hangover from too much time in a very different sort of party, I was musing on the contrast between the two meanings of the word. It suddenly occurred to me that the model of the Bring-A-Bottle drinks party could actually be viably applied to creating some kind of political coalition of independents in a culture of no conventional parties.

My idea was that politicians and potential candidates of broadly similar views pool their manifesto ideas. But, instead of a conventional party process of whittling down the differences to come up with a single party line for all to follow, each area of policy would have a series of numbered alternative manifesto proposals or positions, being all the items any of the participants submitted on that topic. Then, when all items were submitted and collated, each participant would select their own favourite item numbers, be they their own work or another's. The scheme collator could then paste the chosen items into a standard format with the candidate's personal details and colours.

The result would be a display of obvious unity and mutual assistance, and yet, importantly, nobody would be having to compromise any principles, nor sacrifice any independence, to toe a party line.

The next step will be to sound out possible invitees: Too few takers would mean too little substance to be worth the bother. But, what do our readers think? Would you be happier voting for somebody who has collaborated with others in developing their strongest possible manifesto, or somebody who has done all their own work, for better or worse? Comments, please.

David Rotherham


  1. Interesting idea.
    Would it need to be registered as a political party or a lottery?

  2. David, I believe you may have hit upon something here.

    In the regular party political world your idea would be doomed to failure. Just look at the idiotic bitching being witnessed in the UK because the Conservative/Liberal coalition aren't sticking to their pre-coalition manifesto policies!

    However, in Jersey we have a situation unique within Europe of having an elected parliament consisting almost entirely of "independant" candidates.

    That's almost the perfect scenario for your idea to thrive.

    Go for it.

  3. By the way, Ted Vibert and the JDA blog have both vanished without trace.

  4. All the blogs - apart from the child abuse denial and smear site known as the Farce Blog which has 98% fake posts by three people, as proven by the removal of 'posting' times - are very quiet. I expect that is summer for you. Trevor is not on here at present but I'm told that that Shona and he have had two bereavements in just a few days, so hardly surprising. As for Ted and the JDA blog vanishing - just shows who really was the party.

  5. It's your last chance to submit comments on the Role of the Crown Officers on Thursday 2 September at 7.30pm at St Pauls Centre - all you people who spout so loudly about political reform and democracy - but who will be there?

  6. Just two dozen people attended the St. Pauls meeting. What does this say about politics and reform in Jersey? Does it matter if the Bailiff and other Crown Officers stay or go, does it matter if we have 12 or 8 Senators, or elections every 3 or 4 years - on the other hand, what does matter?

  7. my guess is that people doubt that we will really be listened to, were we to participate in the consultation. So, we get on with having lives, instead.
    For instance, I am interested in the subject, but I was busy with my family, a higher personal priority than political dabbling.


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