According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Karl Popper is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century. His entry reads: “He was also a social and political philosopher of considerable stature, a self-professed critical-rationalist, a dedicated opponent of all forms of scepticism and relativism in science and in human affairs generally and a committed advocate and staunch defender of the “Open Society”.”
He wrote in The Economist in 1988: “In “The Open Society and its Enemies” I suggested that an entirely new problem should be recognised as the fundamental problem of a rational political theory. The new problem, as distinct from the old “Who should rule?”, can be formulated as follows: how is the state to be constituted so that bad rulers can be got rid of without bloodshed, without violence?.. In theory, however, these modern democracies are still based on the old problem, and on the completely impractical ideology that it is the people, the whole adult population, who are, or should by rights be, the real and ultimate and the only legitimate rulers. But, of course, nowhere do the people actually rule. It is governments that rule (and, unfortunately, also bureaucrats, our civil servants—or our uncivil masters, as Winston Churchill called them—whom it is difficult, if not impossible, to make accountable for their actions).”
In a constitution that does not provide for proportional representation, parties need not be mentioned at all. They need not be given official status. The electorate of each constituency sends its personal representative to the chamber. Whether he stands alone, or whether he combines with some others to form a party, is left to him. It is an affair he may have to explain and defend to his electorate.
His duty is to represent the interests of all those people whom he represents to the best of his ability. These interests will in almost all cases be identical with those of all the citizens of the country, of the nation. These are the interests he must pursue to the best of his knowledge. He is personally responsible to persons.
This is the only duty and the only responsibility of the representative that must be recognised by the constitution. If he considers that he has also a duty to a political party, then this must be due solely to the fact that he believes that through his connection with that party he can do his primary duty better than without the party. Consequently it is his duty to leave the party whenever he realises that he can do his primary duty better without that party, or perhaps with a different party.
…What we need in politics are individuals who can judge on their own and who are prepared to carry personal responsibility.
While Popper is discussing political parties and proportional representation, the key points he makes actually make an argument in favour of independents, the central idea of UVI. What we now need is a mechanism to bring to life his idea that “what we need in politics are individuals who can judge on their own and who are prepared to carry personal responsibility.”