Compass: Together for a Progressive Majority

Strong challenge on collaboration to share around.
And possibly to endorse.  Peter

On Wed, 30 Oct 2019 20:05 Compass, <> wrote:

Peter, A third election in under five years. Wasn’t our political system meant to guarantee stable governments?
According to current polling, this election will either allow Johnson’s Tories to drive through a hard Brexit – possibly overseeing the break-up of the UK – and some weird populist mix of interventionism and further deregulation, or it will give us another hung parliament, bringing us right back to where we are.It cements what we know: that in a world of runaway climate change, widening inequalities and social polarisation, growing loneliness and mental health problems, our country’s democracy and politics are not working. 
So, what do we do? We do two things: in the short term we firefight as best we can, and for the longer term, we lay the foundations for a better politics and therefore a Good Society.
Firefighting, working to stop a regressive majority of the Tories, Brexit Party and DUP, will not be easy. It’s sad to see the progressive parties attacking each other as much as the government.


Labour has ruled out working with other parties. OK, we get that Labour will stand in every seat, but it doesn’t have to campaign in every seat. The opponents are the Tories and the Brexit Party, almost everyone else is a potential ally.  Under our unfair, outdated electoral system what matters is not how many votes you get, but how many seats. Every Tory loss is a win for a new progressive government.
Labour has to end its all-or-nothing approach – if it wants to form a Government, it must face up to the reality of progressive collaboration.  When it comes to seeing this, the public are way ahead of the politicians. This election could see the biggest tactical vote ever. Among progressive voters, we will encourage this wherever we can. Watch this space: Compass is about to issue its guide to help activists who want to make a progressive alliance succeed where they live. We are also putting together a team of experts who you can contact for help on what you can do to secure more progressive victories.
In all this, we look to hopeful new candidates coming through, like Fran Boait in Gloucester, Faiza Shaheen in Chingford and Woodford Green, Vix Lowthion on the Isle of Wight, and Nadia Whittome in Nottingham East – people who know we need a new politics.  

The campaign will not just be about seeing the right result. It’s as much about seeing the right behaviour. Division, disrespect and intolerance are the breeding ground of a cruel society. Compassion, kindness and openness are the hallmarks of a Good Society – and everyone must try to practise them, so that we bring out the best in each other.  
We want this message to be heard loud and clear by all the leaders of the progressive parties. We want them to know that we’re looking at them to lead – not just their parties, but the drive for a new and a better politics.  
That’s why we’ve created a petition, simply called Work Together for a Good Society. We need you to sign it and share it. The case for cross-party collaboration has never been more pressing.

This is the necessary politics of damage limitation, but it’s not sufficient.We have to change our democratic and political system if we want to change society. That’s why next week we will be launching a national campaign for a Citizens’ Convention to rewrite the rules about how we do democracy and therefore politics.
This is where firefighting and foundation building come together: if we get a hung parliament then a Convention to renew the way we do politics is on the table. We get a progressive majority and we build for a new democracy.
Eventually, if we want to make a better world, people and parties are going to have to work together. No single party can do it alone. Those days are long gone.

As ever, we must ‘live without illusions without being disillusioned’. We plan for the best and we hope for even better.
In hope, belief and ambition,
The Compass Team
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