Change UK: Failed Political Gambit, or Triumph of Morals? Watch

clickypen
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Change UK polled fairly poorly in last week's EU elections, in what was the first nationwide vote since they split from the larger parties.

So my question to you is this; have the MPs behind Change UK made a fatal miscalculation, and in trying to increase their own personal 'brands', doomed their careers, or have they incurred a great cost to themselves in order to stand up for their beliefs?

I think there is weight to both sides of the coin, especially with the news today about a new probe into anti-Seminitsm within Labour; one of the reasons the original 7 left.

Personally, I believe that it's a bit of both but - call me an optimist - I think that their morales took precedence over their own careers.
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Retired_Messiah
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Their beliefs are just half cooked Lib Dem ones. There was literally no point in any of the ex labour members there not just defecting to Lib Dem. It's a vanity project to promote a viewpoint that was already well promoted elsewhere.

It'd be like me making a fortnite YouTube channel: Joining a market that's already well covered for no discernible reason.
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ThomH97
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I'd have a lot more time for them if they had scheduled by-elections to occur once they as a party had sorted out what they'd stand for. They were each elected as a representative of the party they were a member of at the time, under the figurehead of their party leaders. Perhaps they would have won the seat as independent candidates, but you'd have to be very ignorant of how people vote in practice to think the party affiliations were not significant.

I wouldn't have expected them to call a by-election immediately, as they were still deciding between themselves what to do. They formed as people disgruntled with their own party leaderships, which is fair enough, but that isn't really a common ground that can get you elected (the Lib Dems are already doing that). But once they decided what they stood for, they should have legitimised that in by-elections. I'm not voting for someone who justifies doing whatever they like by claiming I voted for them trusting their judgement completely rather than holding them to what they said they'd do when they campaigned for my vote. Some people might have, but a lot will only have voted for them because of the party line they were claiming to support in their door-to-door campaigning in person and the leaflets.
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Smack
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I said in another thread that Change UK are really about taking us back to a time before populism became popular, when the two main parties were much more centrist and less distinguishable from each other. But I'm not sure if that type of politics is in demand at the moment, except from perhaps the type of people who follow politics quite religiously.

In the next general election, I don't think any Change UK MPs will be returned to Parliament. However, I do admire them for actually following through with leaving their respective parties.
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fallen_acorns
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As many others have said, they would just have been better defecting to the lib dems.. rather then becoming lib-dems 2.0
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paul514
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(Original post by clickypen)
Change UK polled fairly poorly in last week's EU elections, in what was the first nationwide vote since they split from the larger parties.

So my question to you is this; have the MPs behind Change UK made a fatal miscalculation, and in trying to increase their own personal 'brands', doomed their careers, or have they incurred a great cost to themselves in order to stand up for their beliefs?

I think there is weight to both sides of the coin, especially with the news today about a new probe into anti-Seminitsm within Labour; one of the reasons the original 7 left.

Personally, I believe that it's a bit of both but - call me an optimist - I think that their morales took precedence over their own careers.
Complete fail they should have just joined the Lib Dem’s
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
As many others have said, they would just have been better defecting to the lib dems.. rather then becoming lib-dems 2.0
They were unlucky.

They are a bit like the Canadian couple who, fearing the prospect of World War III, decided to move their family as far away as possible; to Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands ... in January 1982.

Change UK was formed just before the revival of a Lib Dem Party that had been moribund since the 2015 election and showed no signs of life in the 2017 election.
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Arran90
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(Original post by Smack)
I said in another thread that Change UK are really about taking us back to a time before populism became popular, when the two main parties were much more centrist and less distinguishable from each other. But I'm not sure if that type of politics is in demand at the moment, except from perhaps the type of people who follow politics quite religiously.

In the next general election, I don't think any Change UK MPs will be returned to Parliament. However, I do admire them for actually following through with leaving their respective parties.
You hit the nail on the head there. Change UK clearly reminisces for the years of the late 1990s and early 2000s when Labour, Conservative, and Lib-Dem had all descended on the dead centre of politics. In fact they should rename themselves the Dead Centre Party.

That style of politics appeared to start to fall out of favour with the public after Blair resigned and was past its sell by date after 2010 when the electorate increasingly wanted to see clear policies as opposed to piles of bland mush battling it out over personalities of their leaders and the provision of public services.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by Smack)
But I'm not sure if that type of politics is in demand at the moment, except from perhaps the type of people who follow politics quite religiously.
I think it is very in demand. The Brexit party serves only the issue of leaving the EU. The Tories and Labour are split. But Brexit aside there is a massive gap in a compassionate politics that care about the things that actually matter in this country e.g. healthcare, education, the north / south divide, transport, local councils etc etc. All of those things that are crumbling beneath our feet whilst we argue the toss about how best to stab ourselves in the face e.g. Brexit.
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clickypen
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(Original post by Retired_Messiah)
Their beliefs are just half cooked Lib Dem ones. There was literally no point in any of the ex labour members there not just defecting to Lib Dem. It's a vanity project to promote a viewpoint that was already well promoted elsewhere.

It'd be like me making a fortnite YouTube channel: Joining a market that's already well covered for no discernible reason.
To be honest, I think that their strategy with not joining the Lib Dems was because if they had, there would have been greater pressure to call a by-election -- after all their constituents had already had the opportunity to elect a Lib Dem and hadn't. Furthermore, I think that their plan (at least before they formed a party) was to, in the long-run, continue voting along their old party lines for the most part, deviating only on Brexit-related business and a couple of other points. If they had a track-record of generally voting with the party that they defected from, I think they were hoping that either Labour or the Conservatives would decide not to contest their seats for fear of splitting their votes and potentially installing a far more troublesome Tory or Labour MP in the place of a generally compliant defector.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by clickypen)
To be honest, I think that their strategy with not joining the Lib Dems was because if they had, there would have been greater pressure to call a by-election -- after all their constituents had already had the opportunity to elect a Lib Dem and hadn't.
Not really. When we elect in this country, you are electing the person. If that person decides to switch parties, they are entitled to do so. Perhaps it isn't right, but that is they way the cookie crumbles. But that said, chances are the individual's politics hasn't changed, just the party they belong to. Both Labour and Conservatives are a million miles away from where they were 20 years ago. They have moved politically. That doesn't mean their MPs have.
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clickypen
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Not really. When we elect in this country, you are electing the person. If that person decides to switch parties, they are entitled to do so. Perhaps it isn't right, but that is they way the cookie crumbles. But that said, chances are the individual's politics hasn't changed, just the party they belong to. Both Labour and Conservatives are a million miles away from where they were 20 years ago. They have moved politically. That doesn't mean their MPs have.
There was immense public pressure to call a by-election even when they were acting as independents. Yes, technically in the UK when we elect an MP we are voting for the individual, not the party. However, the overwhelmingly vast majority of people vote for individuals based on the party they represent and not their personal characteristics. Voters in these constituencies had already been given the opportunity to vote for the Lib Dems and had chosen not to, so it would be fairer to criticize them for defecting without holding a by-election.

I'd also be interested to find out whether or not the Lib Dems would actually want the defectors joining their caucus because of the bad PR it had the potential to create - the Lib Dems already receive (misplaced imo) criticism for being undemocratic due to their position on Brexit, and having to justify not holding a bunch of by-elections would further exacerbate this problem. I think they would much rather co-operate in Parliament without officially welcoming the new MPs (particularly seeing as the LDs have a leadership contest coming up, and the potential for a Blairite former Labour MP to sieze control would not be a popular one).
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ByEeek
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(Original post by clickypen)
There was immense public pressure to call a by-election even when they were acting as independents. Yes, technically in the UK when we elect an MP we are voting for the individual, not the party. However, the overwhelmingly vast majority of people vote for individuals based on the party they represent and not their personal characteristics. Voters in these constituencies had already been given the opportunity to vote for the Lib Dems and had chosen not to, so it would be fairer to criticize them for defecting without holding a by-election.

I'd also be interested to find out whether or not the Lib Dems would actually want the defectors joining their caucus because of the bad PR it had the potential to create - the Lib Dems already receive (misplaced imo) criticism for being undemocratic due to their position on Brexit, and having to justify not holding a bunch of by-elections would further exacerbate this problem. I think they would much rather co-operate in Parliament without officially welcoming the new MPs (particularly seeing as the LDs have a leadership contest coming up, and the potential for a Blairite former Labour MP to sieze control would not be a popular one).
It is funny that this is now such an issue. Back in the glory days of the Lib Dems when they had 30+ mps a number of Tories and Labour mps defected to the Lib Dems. However, because there were other more important things happening i.e. not a power struggle, it wasn't an issue at all and got resolved at the next election.
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Arran90
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(Original post by ByEeek)
I think it is very in demand. The Brexit party serves only the issue of leaving the EU. The Tories and Labour are split. But Brexit aside there is a massive gap in a compassionate politics that care about the things that actually matter in this country e.g. healthcare, education, the north / south divide, transport, local councils etc etc. All of those things that are crumbling beneath our feet whilst we argue the toss about how best to stab ourselves in the face e.g. Brexit.
My mother told me that if there was one word to describe the dead centre of politics it was dull. Politics was more exciting back in the 1980s when Labour, Conservative, and Liberal actually had distinctively different policies and ideologies. No wonder the younger generation got turned off politics when establishment parties had been rendered down to battling it out over personalities and the provision of public services. The dead centre appears to have resulted in increased public support for small parties over the 2000 to 2015 period.

Smack is probably right that dead centre politics are more in demand by folk who follow politics quite religiously rather than the common folk who now prefer politics with more spice and substance.

Nobody has mentioned the Green Party yet. Could that be the way forwards for compassionate politics?
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clickypen
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(Original post by ByEeek)
It is funny that this is now such an issue. Back in the glory days of the Lib Dems when they had 30+ mps a number of Tories and Labour mps defected to the Lib Dems. However, because there were other more important things happening i.e. not a power struggle, it wasn't an issue at all and got resolved at the next election.
If it were an individual defection, I think it might be widely seen as more palatable. However, because 7 of them left at the same time, it would have garnered far more attention and potential criticism. Again, I would also question just how pleased the Lib Dems would be to have an influx of 7 new MPs - all of them Blairites - and what it would do for the party's unity.
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Smack
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(Original post by ByEeek)
I think it is very in demand. The Brexit party serves only the issue of leaving the EU. The Tories and Labour are split. But Brexit aside there is a massive gap in a compassionate politics that care about the things that actually matter in this country e.g. healthcare, education, the north / south divide, transport, local councils etc etc. All of those things that are crumbling beneath our feet whilst we argue the toss about how best to stab ourselves in the face e.g. Brexit.
If it was in demand people would have voted for it. I suspect much of the Lib Dem's support was for their Remain stance rather than their centrist political leanings.

And I say that as someone who usually votes Lib Dem, and is generally quite centrist myself... I fully acknowledge that, outside of certain bubbles, centrist establishment-like politics has almost totally fallen out of favour. People want change. I don't know precisely what type of change, and suspect that different people want different changes, but the centrist style of politics from the last decade has gone out of fashion.
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Retired_Messiah
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Not really. When we elect in this country, you are electing the person. If that person decides to switch parties, they are entitled to do so. Perhaps it isn't right, but that is they way the cookie crumbles. But that said, chances are the individual's politics hasn't changed, just the party they belong to. Both Labour and Conservatives are a million miles away from where they were 20 years ago. They have moved politically. That doesn't mean their MPs have.


The public do technically vote for their MP, but the reality is that in general elections people vote based on the party of the person in most cases, rather than the person themselves. Hence there would've been more by election pressure. The base argument of your post is probably the excuse they'd use to try to avoid holding one.

EDIT: Christ that image is massive. Absolute unit
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clickypen
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(Original post by Smack)
If it was in demand people would have voted for it. I suspect much of the Lib Dem's support was for their Remain stance rather than their centrist political leanings.

And I say that as someone who usually votes Lib Dem, and is generally quite centrist myself... I fully acknowledge that, outside of certain bubbles, centrist establishment-like politics has almost totally fallen out of favour. People want change. I don't know precisely what type of change, and suspect that different people want different changes, but the centrist style of politics from the last decade has gone out of fashion.


I think you're right; the Lib Dems biggest problem recently has been its centrism - it haemorrhaged votes in 2015 because voters generally couldn't distinguish it from its coalition partner very much, and more left-wing voters were sceptical of voting for them because they viewed a vote for the LD's as an endorsement for the coalition. It's interesting because their stance on Brexit is the only 'extreme' policy they hold; the rest are largely fairly sensible. I think it'll be interesting to see how they capitalize on their one headline-grabbing policy to (potentially) leverage more support and implement some of their less 'interesting' policies.
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ThomH97
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Not really. When we elect in this country, you are electing the person. If that person decides to switch parties, they are entitled to do so. Perhaps it isn't right, but that is they way the cookie crumbles. But that said, chances are the individual's politics hasn't changed, just the party they belong to. Both Labour and Conservatives are a million miles away from where they were 20 years ago. They have moved politically. That doesn't mean their MPs have.
That's how the system was designed to work, but isn't how it actually works in practice. Now, I don't know if these MPs made their own leaflets to post through people's doors in the run up to the last election, with no mention of flying under their party's banner and supporting their party's leader, and if that is what they did then fair enough, but if they did go with the standard party one, then they owe a lot of their votes (and quite likely their seat) to their party. The best way to test their legitimacy is to call a by-election and stand with their own principles/with their new party's policies.
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sridia
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The position that the Change UK types occupy would usually be occupied by Islamophobes, and in Europe they are in the Christian Democratic grouping, but in the UK I think that most people believe that EU will never be Islamophobic enough for them. I personally think that a right-leaning party at the EU is possible.
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