Today, the political decisions that affect us all are being made by a government given its power by 43.6% of those of us who voted during a 15-hour period on Thursday 12th December 2019.
On a voter turnout of 67.3%, this actually means that the government was elected by around 29.3% of the people of this Country – which in this sense is significantly less that one third of the population.
Few will need anyone to walk them through the list of events and changes that we have faced throughout the period of time since. But the reality is that despite one or two By Elections, we are still being governed by the same government that is responsible in no small part for many of the problems that we have today, as well as many that are yet to come.
We may still be over 20 months away from the opportunity to have a say within the same system, and vote for what will only appear to be different – for changes sake.
Many of you who read this blog will have backed one of the three main political parties in the General Election of December 2019. Of those, there will be those who will happily focus upon what are, to many, the deliberately confusing figures and facts that surround how our so-called democracy works, so long as they favour their own ‘tribe’ and political affiliations – and therefore who either is now, or who they next wish to be in power.
Bizarrely, the greatest travesty of all this goes beyond the ridiculousness of a situation where over 70% of us are not being represented by a majority vote.
Election Manifestos are little more than a glossy brochure that invite us, the punter, to back a horse in just one election race that normally runs only once, every 4 – 5 years. If it wins, that horse will then have to win or get placed in race after race amongst other horses wearing the same colours for the duration of the next parliament. These are votes that we have absolutely no say or influence over – and that’s only if enough of the horses with ‘our colours’ won against all the others in the first round too. Everyone else, is usually just left out in the cold…
The way that our ‘democracy’ works isn’t the easiest thing to explain. And regrettably, the confusion that it causes even the politicians, really only helps those with an interest in democracy and power in this Country in maintaining what is basically a complete sham. Those people are the ones we know as ‘the few’.
If we are VERY lucky, the MPs that we have representing us in the Westminster Parliament today, will have grown up and have at least some understanding of the area in which we live. Regrettably, this is not always the case.
The reality is that today, with the majority of us tending to identify as being Conservative, Labour or Liberal, we have all played a part in allowing and fuelling a system to exist where the decision over who represents us in Government, isn’t made by whoever we vote for on Polling Day. It’s made by people who are members of these political parties, with whatever rules they decide upon for selecting the candidates who will then turn up with a Blue, Red or Yellow rosette, when it’s time for us to vote.
At this point, it’s only fair to acknowledge the debate and proposition for change to the electoral system, to one of ‘Proportional Representation’ (PR) – as is used in some of the local level election processes.
The argument has been made that seats to any government being awarded proportionally will be much fairer. Because PR represents the true picture, rather than what we have with the current First Past The Post system – which on this basis of the above, few of us would be able to argue against the idea that the result is massively skewed.
PR would indeed be a great fix for the situation that we are in today, if fixing the mechanics of the electoral system were truly to be the only point.
Yet there are many more issues that are far more important. These not only include the problems with the need for constant compromise that mean none of us are likely to ever see anything happen that we want. Also the fact that even though we only pay lip service to it now, we would never again be voting directly for one named candidate. Also, the fact that no government will ever work properly if politicians aren’t in-touch and putting voters needs first. Finally, and worst of all, that to make sense of the way that PR actually works, the catchment area for each vote we took part in would become much larger than what are todays recognisable Parliamentary Constituencies and would create even greater distance between voters and the already out-of-touch politicians that we vote for.
The reality is that the democratic system that we have does not work democratically. It doesn’t work democratically because it has been played by the self interest of politicians from all sides over decades or an even longer period of time, in which everything has been changed, replaced or manipulated to make the system we have now resemble something like a closed shop.
Indeed, the democracy we all believe we are a part of and take part in by voting to select our public representatives is little more than an elaborate lie.
Furthermore, within the number of ‘public representatives’ that we supposedly elect to take decisions on our behalf, it is only a very small and potentially unique number of those politicians – at the top of their own hierarchies and internal trees – that have any real influence, power or sway.
Our so-called democracy is to all intents and purposes an autocracy. All the evidence anyone will ever need for this will be the disastrous and wholly unnecessary behaviour on the part of this conservative government in response to the Covid Pandemic, and pretty much everything that has happened next.
If none of this had any meaning for the rest of us, it really wouldn’t matter who we have elected to sit and rule over us at the top.
Indeed, one of the reasons why we only experience typically around 66% or approximately two thirds of those who are eligible to vote then turning out at a General Election, is because those that haven’t bothered to vote have become detached or disenfranchised from the system. And in many cases, they really don’t believe it matters whether or not they vote.
The problem, for us all, is that it really does. Or rather, it would do, if there was any meaning to what we could all agree upon being or constituting a genuine majority vote.
We will not achieve a genuine majority vote for a national government or the decisions that it makes, with the system, the politicians, the parties and the way that they are driven and motivated now.
Decision making is too far away from people – and needlessly so – for it to be engaging for non-political people.
The decision-making structure that we have today has not been created because it’s the best way for it to work. It’s been created and maintained as it is, because it’s the most effective way for just a few to make the decisions that affect us all, and above all, for them and those like them, to take and keep control.
Although we are experiencing tough and challenging times that may well get much worse before they can get better, the opportunities for change of a kind that will be genuinely beneficial to all have never been as good as they are now, and will become. However, nothing is guaranteed. Everyone needs to play their part as well as working with others who they may not yet even identify with.
Over the past 12 months, I have published 5 books that cover the reasons we are here, why we need to change, how we can change, and what we will need to do to achieve it. The two e-books that relate to what I have written about in the blog above can be found and downloaded from Amazon for Kindle. Here are the links: