Home > Uncategorized > We as a nation voted for this parliament and this coalition.

We as a nation voted for this parliament and this coalition.

Captain Ska yesterday released a new tune on youtube.

The first verse is:

Hard times

Living on the breadline

Broken homes and dreams

It shouldn’t be like this

We didn’t vote for this

I agree with the first four lines. I may disagree with how Captain Ska would change it and what kind of country that Captain Ska wishes to create but thats the nature of democracy. I, however fundamentally disagree with the last line. We did vote for this and I think anyone who disagrees misunderstands parliamentary democracy.

As a nation, we voted for this parliament. We might have voted for a leader, or a policy or two or for a local representative who would make an awesome MP. In a parliamentary democracy all that matters is the local representative, what they stand for and how hard they work for the community. In a parliamentary democracy, we do not vote for the government but for parliament and its parliament that decides who forms the government. It is generally one that has a majority of the seats in the Commons.

When you have a balanced parliament and only 3 parties and one of them is centrist especially if the centrist is the 3rd party, no matter who they decide to go into coalition with some people will be hacked off.

If you want to hold the LibDems and/or Nick Clegg to account for having poor judgement on an issue or several issues, fine. Don’t go screaming about betrayals and u-turns though. Yes, because of the coalition, they haven’t got every policy implemented. Yes, they’ve done things that we didn’t know about pre-election. Yes, you might think that you voted for something else. That might be poor judgement on behalf of the LibDems leading up to the election and after the election. You are at perfect liberty to hold them to account for what you see as poor judgement.

You can’t blame them for the way the country voted. They just tried to form the best government they could out of the options they had.

Labour, in 97 promised not to introduce fees and they did. In fact they did a whole raft of things in that parliament, that they said they wouldn’t. There were no cries of betrayal then or cries of “we did not vote for this” because by the same logic as Captain Ska uses, most people did not vote for a Labour government and those that did, did not vote thinking that Labour would introduce fees and countless other measures. But we held them to account, sort of.

In 01, Labour promised not to top-up fees and Labour didn’t come across as a party that would sex up a dossier so that the public would support an illegal invasion of a country, they didn’t seem like a party that would want to illegally invade a country. There were no cries of betrayal on the scale we’ve seen since 2010. There were no cries of “we did not vote for this”.  Yet, we held them to account, sort of.

In 05, Labour didn’t say, they were going to curb our civil liberties, switch leaders (although that was widely hinted at), or thanks to light touch regulations on the banks have a financial crisis on their watch, spend so much money trying to get out of the crises that made a Conservative majority government almost certain save for Nick Clegg. We didn’t vote for any of this, especially Gordon Brown being PM.

Everyone is happy to think that we voted for Labour in 97, 01 and 05 so why all the “we didn’t vote for this” rubbish, now. The process is exactly the same, only one is a little more representative of what the country voted for. I’ll give you a clue to the answer. Its this government that is more representative.

The system is flawed. How about we separate the executive and the legislature so we vote for them both directly, avoid all the confusion and the coalitions but you still get the legislature fighting with the executive and potentially blocking good legislation. Or bring government to a halt like in the US.

How about instead of FPTP, we design a system that is usable and accessible that gives the politicians a little bit more to go on than a cross in a box for a representative, a Prime Minister and a shopping cart list of policies? If we want good governance, we might want to give the politicians a little bit more help.

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