Only 37% of the votes cast at the general election were for the Conservatives and yet somehow they now hold 51% of the seats. That cannot be right. In effect, we are being governed by a party that was opposed by 63% of those who turned out to vote. Our electoral system is an affront to democracy.
Over the years, both the Conservatives and Labour have tweaked and altered boundaries in an effort to rig our archaic voting system in their own favour (although never, it seems, in ours). When we were eventually – reluctantly – offered electoral reform in 2011, the sole unseductive sop on offer was Alternative Vote, which is just a spin on the same system of disproportionate representation that we already suffer.
This crowbarred distribution of seats over unequal pockets of population serves Britain badly: to live in a true democracy we need a political system which represents us all fairly, and that system can only be Proportional Representation. Politicians are not our rulers, no matter how they try to set themselves above us: they are public servants – our employees. It would serve them well to remember that when they consider what reforms they are willing to “offer” us in future.
Of course, there are those who would tell us: “Yes, but if we had proportional representation then Ukip would have ten percent of the seats.” And? So what? If they got ten percent of the vote then they ought to have ten percent of the seats – after all, racists and bigots are people too, are they not equally deserving of representation?
Meanwhile, it seems that some people are balking at the £7,000 pay rise being awarded to MPs. This is ridiculous: it is crucial that our parliamentarians are paid well so that we can continue to attract the very best talent to governmental roles. Just imagine the havoc that might be wrought if our schools, NHS, justice system, armed forces and Welfare State were to be run by rank amateurs and bumbling fools…
As a footnote, I was shocked to learn that I agree with the Conservatives on something: strikes should not be permitted unless at least 40% of those eligible to vote have cast votes supporting that action. Presumably that would mean that a government which had only been elected by 37% of the turnout on the day – a mere 24% of those eligible to vote – would lack the authority to strike any further blows upon the poor, the sick or the disabled.