Is Democracy Dead?
Whilst BREXIT is central to this election, the one issue we should not ignore, and is perhaps more important than ever in this political climate, is how well represented we as British voters feel. The debate surrounding our electoral system seems to pop up whenever an election is called, and then disappears very quickly after the results are called. I believe that our voting system is a key political issue that needs to be debated and discussed, regardless of whether an election is coming up or not.
Our voting system, First-Past-The-Post, is, in my opinion, an archaic and ancient system that has long since expired, and is no longer suitable for a Britain with such a wide range of views and expressions, that have grown beyond strict party identity and partisanship. We live in a Britain that, whilst incredibly divided, also serves too many interests for only two parties to deal with, and it is important that we update our electoral system to reflect the changes in our society.
The title of my article faces the the age-old argument about whether our voting system is democratic or not? I believe not, and I also believe Britain has a talent for appearing democratic whilst simultaneously ignoring the voices of millions, and counters unity in an already divided nation. All that this winner-takes-all system achieves is to entrench existing divisions between groups of people that should be unified under one government.
Ironically, it was my anger and resentment towards FPTP that led me to join UKIP. I spent the run up to the 2015 General Election fighting alongside the Conservative Party, and whilst some of my friends within UKIP may cringe at this, I am very proud of where I came from, and I enjoy discussing my path to ‘political enlightenment’ with others whilst i share UKIP’s message. The day after the election, on a day I should have been celebrating with my fellow Tories, I saw the true destruction that FPTP had caused in British politics. I saw UKIP, with 12.6% of the vote, walk away with a mere 1 seat, and the other minor parties receiving similar blows. I saw my party win a majority despite winning a disproportional amount of votes (30.4%). I defected to UKIP that same day. I could no longer be apart of mainstream politics, nor the Westminster elite intent on destroying modern democracy. I was so angry that millions of voters had little or no choice in who they voted for, it disturbed me to see so many wasted ballots, so learn that nearly 3 million people voted tactically, unable to vote for the party that truly represented them, hindered by the very process that should guarantee their voice is heard. 22 million votes were wasted, as those votes had no influence on the results, and these mainly came from safe seats, where alternative votes did not matter. What kind of democracy do we live in where this exists?
Under our current electoral system, democracy is dying, it is being crippled under the dominance and greediness of the Westminster elite who care about power over genuine concern for British people. I believe that only UKIP can deliver true democracy to Britain, and hand power back to the people. This is an issue that will be of utmost importance after BREXIT, and I will be at the forefront of UKIP’s battle to bring real change. As Paul Nuttall said not 24 hours ago; “You don’t join UKIP for a political career, you join because you have principles’. I will add to this that we all joined UKIP to bring about meaningful change, to bring back freedom of expression, of speech, of the ability to say what you think without labels, and to fight the real issues that the mainstream parties are too afraid to discuss.
UKIP will survive the next election, and it will live on to deliver even more change to the British people.
Here is an insightful link to the Electoral Reform Society report on the GE 2015.