Whilst people obsess about gas prices and other gaslighting by Government, the Death of Democracy in UK is proceeding under the radar of our attention spans:
Note 32: Legal restraints on a Progressive Alliance and similar strategies.
The Elections Bill currently passing through Parliament contains key changes which would restrict the ability for a Progressive Alliance or any non-party campaigning to mitigate or reverse Brexit to occur in practice.
The Government is tightening up spending rules on political parties who work together. Under existing laws Political Parties have strict spending limits at a General Election both at a National Level and a local level.
If for example the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats agreed not to field candidates against each other in certain seats, then Labour and the Liberal Democrats would be deemed to be working together and instead of having separate spending limits as individual parties they would be restricted to one spending limit for both parties.
The new legislation now extends this rule to third party campaigners such as charities, trade unions and campaign groups such as Best for Britain, European Movement and Open Britain who have previously been active in campaigning for parties and candidates at the General Election. Even if third party campaigners were to coordinate campaigns with each other or a political party on a single issue i.e. electoral reform this would still be considered working together and the same spending restrictions would apply.
The Government is also closing a potential loophole which previously allowed political parties to register simultaneously as ‘third-party campaigners’ in order to have two sets of spending limits to use. The change in legislation prevents a political Party not contesting a particular constituency being able to still spend money on the same campaign.
In summary the idea of a progressive alliance, whilst not illegal under electoral law, is de facto impossible for the two main option parties to implement without severely compromising the amount of money they could both spend on the campaign both at national and constituency levels.
Are we going to just shrug about the Death of Democracy in UK?