Posts Tagged ‘disenfranchised’

What’s so good about democracy

April 15, 2010

Ballot paper

The hustings are under way, we have had three manifestos that say nothing, and now we have the indignity of the party leaders grinning at us for an hour and a half as they say nothing.

gordon brown with Tony Blair

With that we have had people being encouraged to vote. What is the point when the average (and below average) person has little idea what they are voting for.

David Cameron

David Cameron

Vast areas of Britain are disenfranchised because none of the parties likely to win have any interest in them. Why should any party have a policy on rural areas when all parties know that a Conservative candidate will be returned because there is no effective right wing opposition (and no left wing support). Why should any party care about the people of Norfolk. What does it matter that infrastructure is so bad that no industry will go there, What does it matter that transport choice for most is private car or walk – they can walk if their cars are taxed off the road. For the few with access to public transport what does it matter that capacity is so limited that punitive train fares have to be applied to limit the numbers travelling, and the money taken not to improve capacity but to subsidise a government supporting constituency elsewhere.

Norwich to London train

We have even seen the spectacle of the government blatantly shunning the South-west by specifically taxing cider out of spite because it is not drunk in quantity anywhere that Labour is likely to win a seat, except perhaps by a few inner city children in bus shelters who are too young to vote.

Small terraced house in hampstead

What is the point of taxing a house move for someone who lives in Hampstead at £50 000.00 just because they own their own house? This is just spite. How can it be possible to justify taxing someone five years average net income just because they don’t live in a rented house and want to move! It is spiteful and vindictive behaviour, not in the least bit civilised.

Interior of the house of lords with lords sitting

The way democracy has worked in the UK is because it has been checked by the lords. A party may have got to power by having the widest grin, but to change the law they would have to get assent from the lords. The big benefit the lords bring is that they are not democratically accountable, they do not have to enter a grinning competition and be popular, they – like you and me – can take a look at what is before them and apply common sense. It is the lords that represent the ordinary person, not the commons. The commons is made up of people who are there just because they are popular. They should be there because they have popular policies, but the media has ensured that celebrity is important and not policy. There is no need to tell the truth to get into the commons, the voters do not know when a candidate is telling the truth. The lords  was (not any more) made up of those that are hereditary lords (people with as much interest as you or I to see the country safe and prosper), those that are there because of their job (retired judges, bishops, prime ministers) who’s experience can be valuable in making judgement, and those that have been appointed because of their outstanding achievements.

If you have given the choice offered to you some thought, on polling day go into the booth and make your choice. If you have not been offered a reasonable choice, and the deposit system means there are fewer candidates than there should be, don’t be bullied into voting. Nothing says more about what you think of the political system, or upsets the grinners more, than voters staying at home.

Suzie x