Friday, November 16, 2012

Not a good day for democracy

So 7% of Wiltshire's electorate actually voted for their new police commissioner which is considerably fewer than the number who voted for the councillors who made up the police authority he replaces. And this is democratic progress, why exactly??

Yesterday was not a good day for our democracy all round really. Good results in Cardiff and Manchester but the turnouts were woeful. Maybe we can blame the weather but I think we can also blame a broken system that leaves increasing numbers of people completely disconnected from the process. And the fact that public regard for politicians is so low doesn't help either.

When an MP thinks she will be taken more seriously by people by going on a jungle based reality TV show than doing the job she was elected by her constituents to do, you know that we in trouble. She is paid £60k (or thereabouts) + expenses so that she can serve her constituents not promote her agenda (that few voted for).

We seem to be attracting people to political office of all kinds who seek that office for what it does for them - their CV, their earning power, their ability to hog some limelight - rather than people who want that office to serve the needs of everyone in the constituency they represent.

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