Further to Quiet Man’s post below, calling for radical change, I’d like to say why I wasted my vote on Thursday…
In our ward, it didn’t make any difference, this time round, although the UKIP candidate did beat the Conservative into xth place.
But I take a wider view.
Withdrawing from the EU is essential: it’s quite clear that the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Yet even now the EU continues in that path.
Let’s take one example: Mervyn King told the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on 27 March:
“The current proposals that were put forward by the European Commission would have made it impossible for any regulator, say in Sweden or in the United Kingdom, to impose higher capital requirements on its own banks in order to protect domestic taxpayers. If you have a large banking sector and the consequences of its failure would be much more damaging to domestic taxpayers because they would feel compelled to bail the banks out, in that situation—as Switzerland has done, and indeed so far as Sweden has also done, and as Vickers recommends for banks behind the ring-fence—to have a higher level of capital than previously would simply make sure that you had a safer banking system, which would help to protect domestic taxpayers. Since there is no suggestion that European taxpayers are going to pick up the bill for a national banking system if it gets into trouble, it seems reasonable to allow national regulators to protect national taxpayers but the European Commission does not want to allow that.”
If we keep voting for any of the three largest parties we’ll never get past the first step.
But it’s not enough. All that would do is to expose what rotters we have in Parliament. Peter Hitchens is good at noting how many of our laws arise from EU directives, yet the MPs pretend it’s their decision. And at other times, they tell us that the EU insists on things where actually we have discretion. So a restoration of national sovereignty would mean no-one else for them to blame.
Then there’s the voting system, so flawed that there’s lots of people making very good money advising political parties how to exploit it. Funny how they all got together to keep out the Alternative Vote. Better Buggins’ turn than all be thrown out in favour of some new political force; though as the origin of that phrase indicates (see link), the current corrupt system could be the reason for the catastrophic collapse.
And the weird boundary system, too. Until the boundary in my constituency was changed, you could vote for anything you liked but you’d get Labour. You’ll still never get Conservative here.
Which brings me to the electorate. Thomas Jefferson advocated any political system that fully reflected the will of the people, even if that meant revising the Constitution from time to time. But the franchise in his day was nothing so widely extended as today. Democratic government throws itself on the mercy of the people, and that places a reliance on the people’s intelligence, their level of education and access to information, and willingness to debate reasonably and abide by collective decisions.
Well, maybe we’re sunk, then.
But it is better to be defeated in an honourable cause, than prosper in corruption.
And besides, if the people have more say, more often, in matters that affect them, this will educate them.
So, UKIP – and the feelings and as yet not fully defined principles behind it – is a start. Never mind John Ward’s mockery of the cockup in London, and Peter Hitchens’ “absurd Dad’s Army of UKIP” crack; this is only the “contemptible little army” stage of a war to recover democracy.