Aral Balkan @aral

"Only 2% of the UK are members of a political party." - Indira Adnan

Is politics broken? debate at

@aral Suppose it depends on if membership of a political party is a good measure of political engagement.

@aral UK politics is certainly broken. At the epicentre of that is the first past the post electoral system, which essentially forces a two-party model, with the consequences that we see. Parties at war internally as much as with each other.

One immediate result of this is the madness that is Brexit, where it look like we are about to replace membership of the EU with something nearly identical, but with much less influence for the UK, and its only going to cost us about £60-100 billion. Sweet!

@aral Another (maybe more) striking figure: in 1979, half of the UK population was unionised. Neolibs really broke the system.

@aral Not at all surprised to hear this - I think it's safe to say that political engagement is at an all-time low in the UK, in part because the system is so broken and in part because the only parties that pretty much stand a chance are so batshit that nobody wants to identify with them, even if they do swing that way on the political compass.

@aral I would count members of trade unions as well. Corporate boards have become as powerful as governments (if not more). There was a time when membership in political parties would be still low but membership in trade unions was high. That set different power dynamics than the absolutist powers we have today.