Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Voting and democracy and all that other guff (again)

Via The Sharpener, a particularly fine defence of abstaining from the whole damn mess at Stumbling and Mumbling:

"there's something irresponsible about voting. A vote means you're giving 100 per cent support to your candidate; there's no room on the ballot paper for caveats. Isn't it irresponsible to give unqualified support for someone whom you cannot recall for at least four years, and who - even if you sack him at the earliest opportunity - will get a big pay-off? And, what's more, if this MP imposes costs onto the electorate through his stupid votes, you'll bear no higher a burden of these costs than anyone else. That seems irresponsible to me."
Good point well made. There's a lot more that's dodgy about the British electoral system than merely the lack of correlation between popular vote and number of seats.

Why is it only an MP's party / constituency association which can sack him/her, not their constituents? Why do the central parties have so much control over candidates? Why is there no separation of powers? (Important sections of both the judiciary and the executive are STILL part of the legislature.) Why is our executive wholly unelected? (And they are - as members of the executive - the elected members of the cabinet have only been elected as MPs, just as Tony Blair has not been elected as Prime Minister, merely as MP for Sedgefield.) Why are the parties even allowed to use the whips to get people into line when they could well have been voted for by their constituents because their stance goes against the party's on certain issues?

The whole thing's a mess. The only thing that's working as it should is the House of Lords - and that's both been bastardised with little reasoning and is the one section of parliament most likely to see reform take place.

I may well pop along to that meeting tonight, if only so I can hear how massively confused everyone is about the whole thing.

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