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>Ed Miliband Q&A!

>Just saw Labour leader contender Ed Miliband in Glasgow doing a Q&A session.

He did well on most things like housing and jobs, the NHS and women in top level of politics – not sure if they were what i would do. I have to say i’m still not convinced by Labour’s argument on cuts – cuts are necessary but we also need to tax the banks and tax the rich a little bit more.

Ed kept emphasising we need to build a more equal and just society and this is something he has said throughout this campaign. I agree 100% with that as well as helping the less well off but none of that matters if our democratic system is riddled with inequality. Labour aren’t interested in doing anything about it.

The inequality in our democracy is the most important issue in our country today because our democracy is how we shape our country. The health of our democracy is always going to be the most important issue because it shapes our economy, our jobs, our health care, our education.

No matter where you live in the UK, your vote must count. The trouble is it doesn’t and not just because we have unequal sized constituencies, but because even within constituencies, votes count more.
In my constituency of Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, if you live in Carrick and Cumnock your vote counts more. Ayr is far more Conservative and Carrick and Cumnock more Labour. There is even a statue of Keir Hardie in Cumnock as he lived there for a while so of course they are going to vote Labour even if the Labour candidate is absolutely rubbish, which means if you vote in Ayr your vote doesn’t actually count. Where is Labour when it comes to fighting that inequality? No where.

Now Labour are opposing the AV referendum bill because its linked with a boundary review and they are shrieking that the Tories are “gerrymandering” the constituencies in their favour. The “gerrymandering” i.e. making the constituencies more equal is gerrymandering them back so they are actually a little fairer just because it doesn’t favour them they are opposing it. This is old politics where parties do what is best for the party and not for the country and i’m sick and tired of it. Charles Kennedy’s constituency was mentioned and the fact they the coalition have put a geographical limit on the size of what the largest constituency can be which is the size of Charles Kennedy’s seat. To be honest it is a perfectly reasonable argument because otherwise MPs will be asking for helicopters to get around their constituency. Can Labour really not remember the expenses scandal that was only last year?

AV is still undemocratic because it leaves 49.9999% of voters disenfranchised. it doesn’t retain the MP-constituency link because there is no link. I’d have a link with my MP if i actually elected them or if i even liked them. I hate my MP and she’d still get in under AV. I would still hate her. I would still think she is a useless constituency MP. I don’t have the ability to vote for another Labour candidate or get anyone else elected. That is what is wrong with AV and FPTP. Open List STV actually means parties put up more candidates than they need to and so the electorate have a wider range of choice between candidates of parties and still make parties accountable and you can actually contribute to at least one person getting elected restoring an MP constituency link. I’ll still vote for AV in the referendum because i don’t trust Labour or the Tories to actually realise we are rejecting AV and not rejecting electoral reform. Labour and Tories will use a “No” vote in the referendum to say the public don’t want reform when that is not the question being asked. We are being asked do you want this undemocratic system or this potentially worse undemocratic system. Lets not forget that (according to simulation) under AV in 2005, that Labour would have gotten a bigger majority in parliament with the same 35.5% of the vote and 21.6% of the electorate behind them. That is 1 in 5 people voting for Labour, to me that is not democracy, that is not an equal or just society. To me that is oppression of views and opinions, that is dictatorship.

If you want to read more about my views on democracy, read my submission to the Political and Constitution Reform committeeLabour and Social DemocracyPolitical Reform or my views on Labour Leadership electionLabour leader contenders views on democracy

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