Posted by: Pete | May 2, 2013

Ignore the Politicians, Vote for Democracy

The right to vote is precious and was hard won by many brave individuals. But it is being undermined by politicians.

The credibility of democracy rests upon the idea that a person, or party, sets out a manifesto and the public vote for, or against it. But the system requires honour. What value has democracy if promises made in the manifesto are broken or a string of polices that weren’t included are implemented?

Over the years, politicians have come to realise that the public will just ‘grin and bear it’ if, once elected, they ignore the mandate given to them. Can anyone say the NHS is safe in Tory hands? What value can be placed on anything Clegg promises after he broke a solemn pledge on Tuition Fees? Were the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya democratically agreed by the electorate?

Of course, politicians want you to vote because by doing so you legitimise the system. They will tell you about the value of democracy and quote the voting turnout figures as evidence of public consent. They would rather you voted for the another party than not vote at all. The media will also encourage the notion of tactical voting but your own common sense, if not your conscience, should be guiding you only to vote for those you in whom you believe and trust.

If you genuinely have such faith in an individual or party, they deserve your vote. But look at their track record of honesty before deciding. This isn’t like supporting your favourite football team, loyalty to a political party irrespective of their ethical behaviour makes you as culpable as they are when they tell lies to the electorate, ignore manifest promises or exercise double standards as with the expenses and tax avoidance scandals.

Voting for any of the current major parties perpetuates the dishonesty that has been allowed to dominate the current system. If you value democracy, perhaps now us the time to vote for it by withholding your vote from those who will abuse it. Ignore the politicians and vote for democracy.

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Responses

  1. Absolutely. At present there is no democracy. In a true democracy each candidate would present their manifesto to the electorate and that would be the end of campaigning. It should be treated as a legal contract document so that the candidate is obliged to fulfill their side of the bargain. If they do not then they should be seen as in breach of contract. As it is politicians commit fraud with impunity. Fraud is the only word for it as they promise many things and get elected on the basis of these promises into lucrative jobs with no penalty for lying.
    I think a more proportional representation would be fairer. First past the post means that the bigger parties will always be in power even if the majority overall of people do not support them. For instance if one party gets 36% of the vote and the other 64% is divided up between two others and independents the 36% wins even though 64% do not want them.
    Those parties that are continually in power i.e.. Conservatives and Labour lose sight of the majority of people and in Britain the candidate doesn’t even have to be from the area they are representing. They are placed strategically around the country in order to primarily support the party not to represent their constituents.

    • I agree Jane, and their loyalty is to their party not the country. They are whipped into acquiescing on policies they don’t support in order to hold onto their positions in ‘the club’. Voting for any of them simply perpetuates the system.

      I doubt many of the electorate understand all of UKIP’s policies sufficiently to wish to vote for them, but a significant number did because they believed they had to vote for someone and couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the usual suspects. Abstaining would have served better.

  2. Reblogged this on Pete Lihou's Blog.


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