The South Cambs Labour Parliamentary candidate from 2015 and 2017 Dan Greef has started an Introduction to Politics course for all members of the party to learn about the basics behind the world of politics.
Being a relatively new member of Labour, joining in 2016, there are many aspects of politics that just baffle me, such as why we have our particular set up of parliament and voting, the differences between socialism and liberalism and how people can vote for the conservatives.
The first session, held at Alex Wood Hall in Cambridge, saw Dan arm us with the knowledge to answer the question – Is First Past the Post a fair voting system? It was a fascinating session where Dan explained the various types of voting systems used throughout the world and the pros and cons of the main ones. I always thought that PR (Proportional Representation) or AV (Alternative Vote) would be better than what we have, but upon discussion with the group and armed with the theory behind the systems, it’s certainly not easy to choose which system is best or to predict which would help Labour the most!
The second session saw Dan set a big question for us to discuss – Is the Prime Minister becoming too presidential? At first, I thought this was a simple yes, but again, after some fantastic theory made simple to understand, the answer was far less obvious. The session talked us through how the US government system works compared to the UK system and from this it was clear that our system, evolved over many centuries, makes the role of the PM very different to that of the President.
A great discussion between the attendees followed as we debated the reigns of Thatcher and Blair with a small passing mention of Cameron and May. It seemed to me that the bigger the majority a PM has, the more “Presidential” they can become, with Ego and Personality also playing a part.
This week’s session will ask – How do governments manage the economy? I am looking forward to this session as the economy fascinates and bewilders me and based on the previous 2 sessions Dan will lay some heavy topics in an easy to understand manner!
Future sessions will cover topics such “Is Liberalism the sole domain of any particular political party?”, Conservatism, Socialism and How does Parliament work?
For just £5 a session which comes with a cuppa and friendly discussion amongst comrades, the sessions I’ve attended so far have been brilliant and I’m looking forward to the remaining topics, I hope you can join us!
All the money raised from these sessions goes to the South Cambs CLP to help with election campaigns.
More info on the remaining courses can be found here.
South Cambs CLP Member