09 July 2005

Why 'first past the post' is dangerous for democracy and good for the BNP!

According to the new Electoral Reform Society report on the election, only 35.2% of voters and 21.6% of the electorate voted Labour. This forgets to add one word in front of electorate -'registered'.

With, according to Harriet Harman around 38% of people living in unfurnished, rented accommodation - not on the roll and 20% of those aged 20-24 missing (a group where already only 38% of those registered bother to vote). This could mean those registered are only around 80-85% of the electorate. With some quick maths this means that the true percentage of the electorate that voted for a Labour government could be as little as 15 percent!

In an area with a fractured vote like Bethnal Green and Bow, George Galloway won with just 18% of the registered electorate in an area with a very low registration rate. This perhaps means only 10% of the electorate there voted for him! And things are getting progressively worse as a system designed for 2 parties struggles to cope with multiple party voting. It is the poor and uneducated that are being disinfranchised with fewer and fewer of them voting. This is through disillusionment at how little their vote counts. We can't let this situation continue. We must change the voting system so that where you live is unimportant to the value of your vote.

What this current system encourages is extremist parties to grow unseen from mainstream political debate, meaning their views go largely unchallenged. This suits the BNP because as soon as their policies are given closer scrutiny, the electorate realises how ridiculous their policies are.

In a fractured voting area, the BNP could seize their chance on a wave of protest voting that only needs about 10% of the electorate to win a constituency and 15% nationally to form a government. Under 'first past the post' Hitler would have won every seat in parliament. This is the danger to our democracy and why we need a system that ensures that a government has at least 50% support in the country. Labour must honour its manifesto pledges to give the British people a referendum on this issue before we get a less consensual government and the chance is lost for another generation. This issue is long overdue a resolution, we have been riding our luck and maybe the next right wing government will be more extreme than the Thatcher era that governed with little over 25% support!

1 comment:

  1. I always have a chuckle to myself when I read labourites (not socialists as they left the LP years ago)saying once the BNP policies are exposed then everything will be fine in the garden. What are these 'absurd', 'stupid', extreme BNP policies ?

    Do they weant to invade another country like Blair.

    Or flood the UK with people no one wants.

    Or offer honours to their highest big money backers...

    You lot are a sick joke...!

    The man in the street doesn't share your crack pot ideas....and now chickens are coming home to roost !