Category: Electoral Reform

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Changing leader mid-term

Joe Bicarregui

A lot has been said recently about the fairness (or otherwise) of an electoral system that permits our next prime minister to be elected by the tiny minority of voters who happen to be members of a particular political party. Some have claimed that it would be more democratic if the final choice were left […]

A government allergic to scrutiny blames the ‘deep state’. UPDATE

Phil Syrpis

Johnson’s ‘deep state’ conspiracy theory has, quite rightly, attracted a lot of negative comment. This article identifies some of the collisions his government has had with people and institutions who stand in its way. This government has consistently acted against people and institutions which seek to subject government action to scrutiny and accountability. Here are […]

“Our electoral system does not produce good government”

Compass Northern Devon

Dozens of residents and visitors attending the Bideford Soapbox Derby took time out to share their views with Compass Northern Devon on the state of politics in this country.  As in other Northern Devon towns, the results show that many people have lost faith in both politics and political parties. Many wish to be rid […]

“How did we end up with these bandits in charge?” A response

Laurie Taylor

I’ve asked myself the same question endlessly; as we all no doubt do. Of course the voting system is a particular root cause. But, for me, the ultra-significant factor is the quality of political education and understanding of the electorate. This frustrates and depresses me in about equal measure. We disgorge our 17 and 18 […]

Make Votes Matter! June 11, Totnes

Editor-in-chief

Don’t miss this! As you will know, West Country Voices is a strong and vocal supporter of electoral reform – it’s essential for empowerment of citizens and engagement with the politics that affect our lives, no matter how much we may want to stay out of it or are bored or turned off by it. […]

Calling all tractor enthusiasts! Conservatives desperate for a candidate to beat the LibDems in Tiverton and Honiton…

Anthea Simmons

Well, well! The ConservativeHome website makes for a fascinating visit. It seems applications are now open for a candidate to replace disgraced former MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Neil Parish, in the upcoming by-election. Anyone interested in standing needs to apply by 18 May. William Atkinson, the site’s assistant editor, writes: “Though traditionally safe, the […]

Democracy in Danger event report

Editor-in-chief
taped mouth marked with red x

This is a record of our well-attended Democracy in Danger event on Thursday 20 January. Unfortunately the tape was not running for the introductions and so I paraphrase in this summary. Molly Scott Cato, (Greens) talked about her work to research and then to raise awareness of the rise of fascism in the UK. She […]

We need radical political change – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, The Conservative party has clearly been in power for too long and has too much power based on significantly less than half of the votes cast in the last general election (an 80 seat majority based on securing a mere 43.6 per cent of the ballots cast in 2019). The recent […]

The red light is flashing for our democracy

Richard Haviland
Polling station sign fixed to mesh fence

Former civil servant Richard Haviland sets out a chilling and all-too-possible vision of a bleak future for the UK with a hollowed-out faux democracy. Ed With all the red lights flashing at the state of the UK’s democracy, I’ve seen it said we shouldn’t assume the next general election will even happen. The issue, though, […]

Thought for the day: Labour, first past the post and a united front

Peter Roberts

Labour is tearing itself apart (as usual), leaving the Conservatives to get on with misgoverning us without the punishment due to them (as usual). It’s dispiriting for anyone who cares for this country. As usual. Why does Labour do this? Why has it no settled purpose? Why does it throw hostage after hostage to the […]

The V-word

Graham Hurley

The role of leader of the opposition can be a curse, as well as an opportunity, and just now – as Johnson completes his second drive-by reshuffle – must be the perfect moment for Sir Keir Starmer to pause and take stock.  The worst government in living memory is beset by crisis after crisis, and […]

It could all have been so very, very different

Anthea Simmons

For the purpose of this article, let us accept that the Conservatives are in power and were in power when some of the events referred to occurred. Readers may say “But what if it had been Corbyn or Starmer?”. Please set that alternative scenario to one side. I am looking at what was genuinely a […]

Make noise for PR! Make Votes Matter summer day of action

Laurie Taylor

Local residents in Totnes will join hundreds of people across the UK on Saturday 31st July to make noise for Proportional Representation (PR). PR is about the seats in Parliament being proportionate to the number of votes. From singing to banging drums or pots and pans, people will be out in force to break the […]

Levelling up? Freedom Day? The dark reality behind sloganeering populism

Phil Syrpis

The debate about ‘levelling up’ prompts this summary of the Johnson government. The Johnson government excels at ‘sloganeering populism’: ‘Get Brexit Done’, ‘Global Britain’, ‘Freedom Day’… and now ‘Levelling up’. The rhetoric projects energy and is meant to show a governmentt devoted to ‘the people’s priorities’. Behind the rhetoric, one might hope for some substance, […]

Labour – dodging the issues that matter

Eric Gates

The Labour Party has launched a national consultation on policy which runs until 19 July.  As one of those consulted, Eric Gates responds by switching the focus to the important issues the document omits rather than what it covers. Dear Sir Keir, You asked for my thoughts on a number of topics in the recent […]

Forget this government’s twisted idea of the ‘people’s priorities’: here are some we can unite behind

Anthea Simmons

In Amersham and Chesham, many who traditionally voted Conservative abandoned the party which has abandoned them and whose leadership, priorities and methods they view with increasing distaste. Instead, they voted for the party most likely to remove the Conservatives from a seat they had held since the constituency’s creation in 1974. In this instance, it […]

Letter to the editor: Make Votes Matter

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, On 6 May, much of the country went to the ballot box to select county council representatives.  “On the doorsteps people told me that ‘politicians don’t listen to us anyway’ ”. So said Ruth Rollin, Liberal Democrat candidate for Brockenhurst. She continues, “I’d like to hope that we would all welcome a voting […]