Crowdfunding has brought about everything from popular card games to souped up coolers to attempted missions to the moon, but now, it’s entering a new sphere — politics. In the aftermath of the highly contentious Brexit vote, citizens of the U.K. are now looking to take matters into their own hands and disrupt the current manner of conducting politics with a sharp injection from tech. Meet MoreUnited.uk, “a new movement setting out to change British politics.”
Promising to “transform the way politics is funded, giving a voice to the millions of open and tolerant people in Britain who feel the political system no longer works for them,” this new crowdfunding platform seeks to raise money for any candidate who supports five key “progressive” principles. The hope is that this will make it “easier for moderate, progressive MPs to get elected and create a new center of political gravity in the U.K.”
Despite launching just one day ago, the platform has already garnered the support of over 16,000 supporters, and that number is growing quickly. Launched by Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown, the platform is named after a speech given by slain MP Jo Cox. The five key principles espoused by MoreUnited are as follows:
- A fair, modern, efficient market-based economy that closes the gap between rich and poor and supports strong public services.
- A modern democracy that empowers citizens, rather than politicians.
- A green economy that protects the environment and works to reverse climate change.
- An open and tolerant society where diversity is celebrated in all its forms.
- A United Kingdom that welcomes immigration, international co-operation and a close relationship with the EU.
Crowdfunding has previously been used in American politics, first with the Obama campaign of 2008, and more recently by Bernie Sanders’ team. Political organizer Austin Rathe told TechCrunch that the introduction of tech concepts into British politics “isn’t just a way to do things faster or cheaper, it’s a way to do things that could never be done before.”
He added, “There are millions of people who care enough about politics to take small actions around specific causes” but what “they (deliberately) don’t have is a binding set of principles that their members hold in common. That’s what makes MoreUnited.uk a movement, not a platform.”