Posts Tagged 'Legitimacy'

Democracy through the Wythenshawe prism

We have learned that the media will do all it can to ignore the crucial matter of political and electoral legitimacy. The establishment can’t have ordinary people actually thinking about or discussing MPs sitting in Parliament after securing only a tiny amount of support in the ballot.  That would be dangerous to the establishment.  The media, as its ally, continues to help distract attention away from this significant issue.

84.4% of eligible voters in Wythenshawe and Sale East did not vote for the candidate elected as the area’s MP.  71.8% of eligible voters in the constituency did not even vote.  The turnout was mentioned in Chris Mason’s piece, but only as part of the result, tucked away as a bullet point neatly at the bottom of the vote tally, no further discussion of it wanted or permitted.

This is an issue that is not going to go away.  In a democracy the elected representatives must have legitimacy.  Mike Kane’s election ‘victory’ with only 15.6% of the available vote is nowhere close to legitimacy.  We do not live in a democracy.  It is time people made a stand in order for this country to become one.

Their fear is growing, the establishment is circling the wagons

Russell Brand’s interview by Jeremy Paxman, and the subsequent furore about not voting, has evidently rattled the political class.  So much so, the columnists are still pouring out their implorings for people to trapse to the ballot box and continue doing what clearly has no effect whatsoever, and think tanks are now weighing in to spread their own brand of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt).

The latest examples are in the Independent today, where Jane Merrick reports (without any question or challenge) a tidy piece of scaremongering from the Labour party’s closest thinktank, the Institute of Public Policy Research.  And John Rentoul uses his space to argue that even a vote for Nick Clegg is better than not voting.  The IPPR piece stands out for its FUDmongering:

People who do not vote are more likely to face public spending cuts and reduction in household incomes, a leading think tank reports today.

Political parties are more likely to tilt their policies and economic decisions towards groups who turn out at the ballot box than those who do not, the IPPR says. As a result, it leads to a “vicious cycle of disaffection” because low turnout groups feel politicians are not listening to their concerns, and this makes them even less likely to vote.

There really is a worry among the political class that the increasing tendency of large chunks of the electorate to stay away from the polling stations, recognising that however they vote nothing will change and the will of the people will be ignored, will increase as a result of high profile personalities articulating the reality and encouraging more people to follow suit.  To help things along, this comment has been added to the article’s discussion…


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