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If the Southend Confelicity Party won seats would we enter into a coalition?

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Despite my current belief that Confelicity remains a fairly unknown entity outside the tiny Southend political bubble, this is a question that has started to be raised as our profile has grown. It is only right that in the event that we take a seat or two, residents would be aware of what we would do if there was no overall majority: would we join a coalition?

Undivided Democracy

The answer to this question is simple, but to answer it I must first explain our voting system in the party to understand how we would agree either way.

There are two main reasons why we operate with a unanimous voting system.

Firstly, when our party was first formed we took the view that the power of the leader must be diluted. Time and again we see examples of leaders out of control and we did not want to succumb to the same, well-trodden path. And secondly, despite most people agreeing most of the time, the one or two areas of disagreement often split the relationships within a party often with long-term unseen but quite predictable consequences. This system avoids any such outcomes because anyone who disagrees with something can singularly prevent it going through.

Undivided democracy is not without its problems, but it is the big decisions, such as this one, that give me comfort. I know already that I am completely against our party entering into any type of coalition, and that if/when a vote is taken I will vote 100% against.

There will be some more pragmatic members who may make powerful arguments to join forces with another party, and whilst I am obliged to listen to other opinions I can see no way that I would ever change my mind. However, until a meeting takes place, I am, strictly speaking, unable to officially announce that as party policy. But it is now in writing at the very least!

But, why not?

I believe there is no point in starting a party, have people vote for that party, only to be swallowed up by the national parties and follow their line.

The national Lib Dems have been crushed since their coalition with the Tories after they agreed to allow universities to treble their charges. The paradoxically named ‘Independent Group’ that today align with the Labour-led administration in Southend seem to have lost their independence as they continually vote like they are whipped.

As a voter, I almost feel hoodwinked when the result of my vote turns out to bring another party into play with a manifesto that I had no desire to vote for. I want to be sure that who I vote for is who I get. It may be a simple way of looking at it, and I am sure there are consequences unknown to me at this stage if we did not enter a coalition, but it is a matter of principle.

Why Confelicity Only?

A vote for Confelicity should always be a vote for Confelicity.

We have spent a year putting together our manifesto 2023 and bringing together candidates who we know will make a positive difference.

Any seat we win will be represented by a Southend resident - not a politician.  No one is looking to climb the political ladder.  There’s no need - we all have the same power.

And besides, we do not operate a whip, therefore, even if we were in a coalition, we would be very unreliable partners as our councillors would be free to vote as their conscience dictates barring anything the party had already agreed. 

What if avoiding the formation of a coalition leads to another party getting in that we do not like?

In my lifetime it hasn’t mattered who has been in government.

There were good and bad polices from all the other parties and good people with good intentions on both sides, but when you look around, has anything really changed in Southend. Long waiting lists in the NHS, large school class sizes, lack of police, not enough social housing and so on. Stopping one or the other will not actually do much.

There is no party that I like or dislike. I do not believe any of them will bring the new thinking and practical change that we are hoping for.

So, on a side note to the residents that might tactically vote, I simply say, what’s the point?  The ancient parties born in another era are not structured to deal with the demands of today.  They are too big and the culture cultivates the wrong type of qualities from even the right kind of people.

We formed in 2022 for specific reasons.  We need a locally led council formed of people that truly understand the needs of Southend - not dysfunctional and uncontainable behemoths that rely on think-tanks and researchers to tell us what we know when we step outside our doors every morning.

There is nothing they can do about it.  In the future we may grow so big that we would become just as dysfunctional.  However, today we are fresh, enthusiastic, willing and driven by our local ties to improve our city.

Our path and the paths of the ancient parties are too different from each other.  We would be far too incompatible and they would be better off without us. Their power struggles and in-fighting we want nothing to do with. And thus, a coalition with any of them just would not work for us or Southend.

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