Until there is electoral reform, voting will not reflect the views of the electorate, so why vote? Russell Brand doesn’t nor is he alone.
The turn out for elections both local and national is sufficiently low to distort the result. At the last election the turn out was 65%. Of this 65%, the Conservatives got 47.1% of the seats in parliament with 36.1% of the vote or not quite a quarter of the potential voters, so we got a coalition government.
This means a little over a third of the potential votes gave a mandate to a government to do as they wish on our behalf and over a third of the electorate didn’t vote.
One of the reasons why people don’t vote is the skewed results. Of the three main parties the following shows the number of seats in parliament against the votes cast and the % of the electorate.
Conservative: 306 seats 36.1% 23.5%
labour: 258 seats 29.0% 18.9%
liberal Democrats: 57 seats 23.0% 15.0%
The distortion is particularly evident with the Liberal Democrats.
The main three parties had a little over half the total electorate. Hardly a mandate unless the coalition included all three parties.
The other difficulty is that it is now almost impossible to tell the three parties apart. They all mess with our health service, our education, our welfare, our defense, our taxes and our future, as if we agreed to it. Then of course we must consider who is paying these particular pipers.
We could go on our ‘merry’ undemocratic way, but I don’t feel it is good enough; it ain’t gonna change any time soon.
I can’t claim to have done my part and a new generation will have to take up the running. Perhaps Russell Brand’s call will be heeded by our youth and a genuine challenge made to the distorted status quo.
Don’t tell me they are too hedonistic, apathetic, disinterested; give them a chance to show the way forward.