The reality of UK parliamentary democracy is that the views of millions of actual vote are lost in the ballot box. They make no difference to the outcome.
SO now that I’ve just voted – my civic duty is done. But to what end?
Had I voted for the sitting candidate who is certain to be returned, then my vote counted for something. For for an opposing candidate who then ousted the sitting candidate, my vote would have decided our next government.
Today, the candidate for who I was prepared to vote will achieve neither of these things.
Only voters in some 49 critical seats will vote to decide our actual government – out of 194 marginal seats, of the 650 total. Theirs are the only votes that truly count.
Electoral reform is driven by governments voted in under current arrangements. They won’t make changes that lessen their future chances. The redrawing of constituency boundaries is a very fraught horse-trading exercise involving only the major parties.
The rise of minority parties is inexorable. With the SNP bent on havoc and/or another referendum, ignoring this is stupid as well as undemocratic.
In any case, the major parties are all pitching for the same middle-ground voter. They tout the same policies.
The local party offices have shrinking numbers of actual party members. Their frustrations make them seek the extremes their leaders are desperate to avoid. Their influence on MP candidate choices is outrageously undemocratic.
In all this, we the voters need really good, honest MPs, who will faithfully represent our needs, desires and ambitions. Our economic and ethnic divisions for example, are wounds that need healing through excellent leadership. Some MPs are like this. Others are ambitious little twerps with no experience of real life, and a penchant for seeking out extra remuneration.
So why can’t we have a system that focuses on MPs as people and not party members; and judges them by their individual policies? I’m advocating some sort of independent MP structure for their actual election, removing the role of the out-of-date local constituency parties. After election, the like-minded find each other and form a government. Something along these lines works in Scandinavia.
Easier said than done of course. But it would be democratic. Plus we’re now in an era of coalition government anyway. Why not split it down into actual policies, rather than increasingly meaningless party boundaries? The SDP for example are are a ‘policy’ party. Scots vote for them in order to get a second referendum….
And with computer systems, every vote could be made to count. Why can’t my pointless “wasted” vote, be used elsewhere – to make up a winning tally for another candidate with the same policies as the person I voted for here in East Oxford?
This would do something serious about the disgraceful post-election statistics that we’ll all have to swallow regardless of the outcome. The numbers of actual votes for parties, will not in any way reflect the number of candidates of those parties who we see sworn into the next Parliament.
And this disparity will be even more brutally unfair when applied to the party that forms the next government. The disenfranchised will complain bitterly, ensuring another five years of national disfunction.
This is not democracy, and needs to be changed.