What is Centrism?

Centrism is simple – seeking the consensus and doing what most people will support.  Other parties are driven by ideology – the economic and political vision of society they want to take us to.  We are driven by methodology – the decision making processes that will ensure that the society we create is the one that people want to live in and will be happy to support.

The methodology covers several important areas described further in this website:-

  • Co-operative rather than adversarial politics
  • Democratic decision making
  • The organisation, management and empowerment of the Civil Service – improving effectiveness and reducing cost
  • A rational programme of reforms and improvements that will last

Most of all, Centrism is about bringing us together and working for a better country.  The Brexit referendum was very divisive.   The election result has just created chaos.  We need reforms – but reforms that will stick, reforms that deal once and for all with the problems that affect people’s lives.  And to do that we need to consult, to make sure that we are are following the will of the people.  And we will.

9 Replies to “What is Centrism?”

    1. Well, Gordon. How have I lived my life without Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem? I have used ranked options before to determine a consensus and never found any difficulty. Maybe a consensus (an option that will be generally acceptable to most) is easier to find than a single most preferred option. And that is because the options will tend to be points on a spectrum rather than completely independent things. For example, if we wanted to test the consensus on the death penalty we might put up options:-
      1. Never in any circumstances
      2. Only when a person, who is confined for life with no hope of rehabilitation and release, requests it
      3. Obligatory When it is determined that a person who is confined for life has no hope of rehabilitation and release
      4. Obligatory for certain specified offences when there is no mitigation
      5. Obligatory for specified offences in all circumstances

      Then people preferring one option are likely to go along with a consensus around an adjacent option. And the consensus will be apparent.
      Gordon, if you have a better method of making such decisions, we’d be delighted to hear of it

  1. The only bullet point that made me start was “The organisation, management and empowerment of the Civil Service – improving effectiveness and reducing cost”

    The second part (after the dash) I find unremarkable. But I see the civil service/government as a tool which may (or may not) be superseded by better tools. .I just think the phrase ‘organisation, management and empowerment’ suggests the conclusion of the debate, rather than merely framing it.

    1. An interesting comment, thanks Steven. I suppose we might have a mindset that government and the Civil Service are poorly managed, poorly organised and poorly motivated and that we know (ie normal professional managers know) how to do it better. Actually much better. And that this might then appear as the conclusion of the debate rather than framing it. Certainly most of our policies are to seek the consensus on how to address an issue. But on better Civil Service we do assume that it already is the consensus that more efficient, more effective Civil Service without loss of services or safeguards is a good idea. We don’t feel the need for a debate on that. But perhaps we are wrong. What do you think this section ought to say?


    1. We’re at cross purposes Jon. We’re not proposing any change to the present electoral system. We’re simply suggesting that Centrists elected representatives would seek the consensus rather than impose their own pet policies

    2. I understand why you prefer FPTP in Parliament, as you get a representative who voices the concerns of their constituents. However, a divisive, extremist party (eg. UKIP in Clacton-On-Sea) may get elected on 37% of the vote when the majority of people would prefer another party. Under the ranking constituency system, candidates are numbered by each constituent from 1 (most favoured) to the total number of candidates (least favoured). When 1st preference votes are counted, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and are redistributed according to 2nd preference votes. Then the next bottom candidate is eliminated and 2nd choices (or if that is already eliminated, then 3rd choices) are looked at. This pattern is repeated until there is a general consensus (over 50% of the votes) for 1 candidate. Therefore, everyone’s voice from every part of the country is heard, with the chance of popular centrists being elected higher than divisive extremists.

  3. After a long delay (too many other things to do) I’ve been onto your website and completed the quiz. I am not sure I can see how you would implement the concepts of the Centrists. I support the principle of reaching consensus as opposed to government by parties representing a minority which then think they can impose their dogma of us. PR comes closest to achieving this where in countries such Germany they end up with coalition governments. This would mean changing our electoral system (in a good way) but last time the population had a chance to vote on a step towards this they were persuaded by an unrepresentative press, encouraged by David Cameron, to rejected this.

    1. This might be the difficulty we have imposed on ourselves. People expect a political party to have a stance on everything in the sense of “the solution we will implement if elected”. But we are refusing to do that – except for some uncontroversial low hanging fruit like teaching a million adult illiterates to read. Rather, we are saying that we will solve lots of problems (possibly even ALL problems) by applying a rational decision making process to all of them and ensuring we have a consensus for a long term solution that will stick and not have to be undone by a future government. One thing we can be sure of is that the consensus solutions are all likely to be centrist in nature. The challenge is how to get that message across in an exciting way.

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