I try and keep this blog a mainly politics free zone, but I feel compelled to get involved and make some comments about the state of politics in the United Kingdom. The country has an opportunity to vote in a general election next year, the outcome of which it is generally agreed is more uncertain and difficult to guess than usual. At the time of writing it appears unlikely that one or other of the main parties (Labour or Conservative) will secure an outright majority of seats in the House of Commons. There is a remote possibility that the Labour Party could achieve one with as little as 35% of the vote. When one considers that the turnover is likely to be in the region of 70% then this means that a majority government could be formed with as little as 24.5% of the eligible electorate. What ever their political colour this is hardly democratic, and if the Tories get their way and introduce their preferred system of devolution for England,i.e one that sees English MP’s voting on English matters then we are in the realms of effectively an elected dictatorship.
So the first thing I would like to see is a reformation of the voting system. It is simply not good enough that in a three or four party system we still use first past the post. It is unfair, unrepresentative, and undemocratic. Any Government elected by it lacks credibility and in my opinion lacks the right too govern opening up the legitimacy of protest and dissent. Of course the Tories have thought of this and propose to tighten the law on freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Unless we adopt PR or one of its variants then we run a real risk that democracy will be sidelined in favour of a ruling elite which could govern unchallenged for a long long time. So we need to get it sorted. Reforming the voting system will be one of the criteria that I will use to decide who to vote for in May.
Having got that off my chest I think I will take a break. I will be back. Its badgers next.