Your voice in politics
By Peter Taylor | 07 November 2017
Over the past few weeks we’ve been asking you for your thoughts on politics and activism. In the follow up to our original survey we wanted to dig a little deeper into how you want to be heard in politics, and what change motivates you.
People and Policies, not Parties
Part of More United’s approach is to work across parties - going beyond the traditional tribalism and working with MPs to promote our values. When we’ve asked you about party membership in the past, you have always indicated that despite being very interested in politics, many of you choose not to be a member of a political party.
The following quotes sum up many of the options expressed when asked how you felt about party membership:
“I think the old party system divides us. We should vote for individual people with the same values as us.”
“There is no political party that reflects my 'lost middle' views.”
“I’m more interested in policies than parties.”
“I like to keep my options open.”
“I'm not a member of a political party. Partly because I feel it gives me the flexibility to switch support to whichever party is most closely aligned to my views at the time. Partly because I like Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens and want all three of them to succeed. And partly because I like the feeling of being party-neutral and not beholden to any of them.”
More United is not a political party. Instead, we aim to bring together people from across parties based on shared issues to tackle the important political challenges of today.
Ways you want to take action
More United supporters describe themselves as politically active - we wanted to understand the ways in which you take action, and what you would be interested in doing to make effective change.
The online petition is still the most popular option for making change, but there were a number of ways to take action which you told us you were willing to do.
The top 8 ways you told us you want to take action
- Signing online petitions
- Contacting an MP
- Researching an issue
- Donating money to campaign on an issue
- Joining up with Members in an area
- Meeting my MP in person
- Brainstorming with an MP
- Writing to a local paper
One thing the survey told us was that you are willing to do a lot of different campaigning - and that research featured high up in your list of ways to take action.
Many of you suggested other creative ideas for taking action - from spreading information about a campaign by word of mouth and talking to friends and relatives about an issue, to writing and publishing content about campaigns. More United would love to hear from any supporters who blog and write - we also have the opportunity to review books for our monthly book club.
We also wanted to gauge how much time you had to spend on campaigning, and what your appetite was for campaign actions and it turns out that More United supporters are willing to go the extra mile - with ‘as often as possible’ and ‘whenever I’m needed’ among the most popular answers.
Change you find inspiring
As there are a large number of prominent campaign groups working in politics today, one of the things we wanted to learn was which campaigns you’ve found inspiring, and what makes these campaigns special.
The list included local, national and international groups, large and small - working on issues as diverse as Brexit, loneliness, local transport and refugees. A few stand out examples include:
Data for Democracy a US campaign building a way for data scientists to collaborate on political campaigns
Hope not Hate’s Crisis in the Mediterranean campaign which exposed the activities of far right group ‘Defend Europe’
The legal challenge led by Gina Miller, making sure the UK government let parliament have the final say on Brexit
When we asked what made these campaigns special to you, the common threads in your answers included; diversity of people, working together, having a clear and sensible objective which feels achievable, being respectful and working across parties.
Changing politics together
In the last year, you’ve created something nobody has ever done before. Together we’ve shown we can make a difference at elections. But that is just the beginning. Our challenge now is to impact politics outside election time too.
Here’s what we’re going to do:
Support the MPs to transform politics right now.
Every week the MPs we backed are campaigning on issues we all care about - they raise important issues, pass new laws and hold the Government to account. If we support these MPs - with volunteers, money and online activity - we can increase their chance of success. The sheer power of our movement can help MPs do more; take bolder decisions, stand up to extreme views and have a bigger impact
Link our supporters (you) with MPs.
If we are to help the MPs win campaigns and have more impact, we need them to know the issues we care about. We’re going to find ways for you to feed in your views, your ideas and your suggestions to those in power.
Grow our movement.
It’s a huge ambition but if we make More United the biggest source of time, people and money in UK politics, then the extreme forces that have taken over our democracy won't stand a chance. At the same time, we’ll make sure we're ready for the next general election, whenever it comes, by finding candidates we want to see win at the next election. Members of More United will always get to vote on who we back.
Through these three steps we'll create a political power base that cuts across tribal boundaries. With the best MPs working in Parliament, thousands driving action outside Parliament, and the resources to help those MPs achieve their full potential provided on an ongoing basis, not just at elections, we can create real change.
This won’t be easy, and it can’t be done without your input. But if we succeed, we will have created a completely new way to do politics. One that backs people not parties, one that delivers real impact, and one that is made possible not just by politicians but by thousands of people like you.
Make sure you’re in the loop - join More United and be the first to hear about how you can get involved, and get the chance to vote in the decisions ahead.