Democracy needs Proportional Representation. We are still waiting in Britain

If Britain had a democracy in proportion to the votes, the election on 8the June 2017 would have produced a dramatically different result.

A comprehensive democracy is not coming to the UK. Essentially, we have a  two party state instead.

Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party and Theresa May and her Conservative Party keep a tight control over the electoral system.

They believe in a two-party state, which serves the interests of their party.

The Conservative Party along with the assistance of the extreme right agenda of the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland) now govern the country.

13.6 million voted for the Conservative Party to govern the UK.

36 million citizens did not vote for the government.

We have a government with only 27% of the population actually voting for the government.

Less than 300,000 citizens voted for the DUP. The DUP joins the Government.

48.7 million did not vote for the DUP to help the government to control the future of the country.

Look at the voting figures

We need votes to reflect proportionately the wishes of those who voted for a smaller party which gain a minimal 5% or more of the total vote to have seats in Parliament.

A 5% or more of the total vote guards against tiny parties getting into Parliament and having undue influence.

The current  system ignores the wishes of the peopleMillions decline to vote for a smaller party since their vote makes hardly a scrap of difference.

I will compare the current system with the Green Party (for whom I voted last Thursday here in Totnes, Devon). I stood for Parliament for the Green Party in 1986 and 1992 in my constituency.

The Green Party received 525,000 votes out of a grand total of 32,000,000 voters. They have a single member of Parliament.

The Green Party received roughly one vote in every 60 votes. Proportionately, the Green Party should have received roughly 11 seats out of the 650 seats.

The SNP with around 977, 000 votes received one vote in every 32 votes. Yet they have 34 seats.

The Lib Dems received around 2.3 million votes. They have only  12 seats instead of around 48 seats.

The DUP received less than 300,00 votes and have 10 seats in Parliament. That is one vote in every 108 votes.

The Welsh Nationalists received 164,000 votes. That is around one in every 200 votes. Yet they have four seats in Parliament.

A Unfair System of Democracy

This is a system designed to enable two political parties to control and determine the diversity of wishes of the citizens of the country.

Smaller parties become pawns to prop up a big party who need extra Members of Parliament to support them.

The Conservative Party and the Labour Party cling onto power between them from one decade to the next.

Jeremy Corbyn promised an ambitious programme to ‘extend democracy in every part of public life’ with an elected second chamber, more devolution and stronger workers’ rights. All credit to him.

The saviour of the Labour Party made NO mention of proportional representation to reflect political diversity in Britain. His identification with the Labour Party seems to take priority over a democracy that represents the diversity of political policies.

We create archetypes of strong and weak. Theresa May is strong and Corbyn is weak. Now Corbyn is strong and May is weak. The cult of personality has become far too important.

We need a profound change to our unwritten (how convenient) constitution.

General Election June 2017

Conservative Party

Votes –  13,667,213

Seats – 318


Labour Party

Votes – 12,874,985

Seats – 262

 

Liberal Democrat Party

Votes – 2,371,772

Seats – 12

 

SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party)

Votes – 977,569

Seats – 35

 

Green Party

Votes – 525,371

Seats – 1

 

DUP Democratic Unionist Party (of Northern Island)

Votes – 292,316

Seats – 10

 

Sinn Fein (Northern Ireland)

Votes – 238,915

Seats – 7

 

Plaid Cymru (Welsh nationalist party)

Votes – 164,466

Seats – 4

Millions of people find themselves put off from voting for smaller parties. The propaganda of the main parties and media keep telling citizens that a vote for a party that is not Conservative or Labour is a wasted vote. The media throws a  few crumbs  to vote tactically for the Lib Dems. To their regret, Lib Dems became a surrogate party two elections ago when they got into bed with the Conservatives to help them govern. Afterwards, the electorate deserted them leaving them with eight seats. Once bitten, twice shy as we say here.

We could start with a UK referendum on whether we want proportionatal representation system or a two party state as our voting system.

Proportional representation  has much to offer the people of Britain with its diversity of culture, religious faiths, secular beliefs, spiritual values with residents from every corner of Earth.

A change to proportional representation would be an historical change.

 

 

 

 

 

 



  • Can you give an example of an authentic democracy that you’d prefer, Christopher? The British system may be imperfect (like most things in life) but it seems far fetched to describe it as deliberately rigged. It’s just evolved a certain way and is still the envy of less happy lands. Proportional systems have problems of their own. Just look at Israel. Hardly a byword for stability and harmony.

    This piece omits to mention that the public were offered a proportional system recently in the referendum offered by the coalition government and it was decisively rejected. Seems pretty democratic to me – or was that rigged?

    I personally think the two party system is outdated and voted for PR but the existing system still responds to the public mood, as the latest election showed. There are periodic attempts to break the two party mould and they can have a big impact like the SDP did. The two parties most likely to do this in the last election disastrously misread the mood and suffered accordingly. Both the Greens and Lib Dems appealed only to the 48% who’d voted Remain, but most of them have moved on.

    An imperfect system yes but hardly pathetic!

    • Dear Michael, You make valid points so I adjusted the text (privilege of the blogger) while keeping to the essential analysis. Good to read that you regard our current democracy as outdated. The threshold to get seats in Israel is around 3% – far too low.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.