Reflections on Democracy and Elections: Cornwall and National

Posted on: 11th June 2017

Make Votes Matter

Make Votes Matter to change our voting system

Reflections on our Democracy and Election results in Cornwall and Nationally are being discussed everywhere but here is my take!

Both locally and nationally the electorate were divided and therefore the result was no group/ Political Party is in charge. To be honest, I feel this is a much more accurate reflection of the referendum result than the messages that has been coming out from Teresa May and those desperate to leave the EU than the suggestion that there was an overwhelming desire to leave the EU or the nonsense phrase “Brexit means Brexit”. Probably about a 3rd of our adult population do not know or care whether we are in or out of the EU, a 3rd passionately want to stay in the EU and the final 3rd passionately want to leave the EU. Many of that last group though thought it was like moving house – we pack up our things, book a van and shut the door on the way out! We all know there is much more heart ache and work to do than that to move house!

So, my conclusions from it all….

  • Our ‘First Past the Post’ voting system is no longer fit for purpose but with signs that there is a return to 2 party Politics, albeit complicated by it being a different 2 party’s according to the part of the UK you live in, means there is less chance of changing things.
  • For the next GE, sensible progressive voters should only vote for Political parties that sign a pledge for electoral reform, even if that means voting for the smaller parties as varied as UKIP, LibDems and the Greens! (Although my guilty secret is I’d love the new force of Politics to be a merger of the Greens and LibDems as I think they might catch the public’s imagination and bring about some amazing things!)
  • With the potential Coalition of the Conservatives with the DUP we need to review and re-evaluate whether coalition Governments are good or bad and in particular whether the LibDems should have been punished so hard? I know some of you will say “well you would say that” but would a coalition between the Tories and 12 LibDems not be a better prospect than a coalition between the Tories and 10 DUP MP’s? And, what if, Sinn Fein’s 7 MP’s, fearing a stitch up decide to come to Westminster and vote, the dodgy proposed coalition would not then work and we really will have a coalition of chaos! Ironic really.
  • Forming a workable administration when voters do not give power to one group or party requires Politicians to be adult and to compromise and listen. I think in Cornwall we are doing that well but I am less hopeful the Tories and DUP can achieve that. To explain to those in Cornwall the reason that, despite the Conservatives having the most Councillors they are not running things – they were unable to work with other groups constructively.
  • I remain proud to be a Liberal Democrat but would be even more proud to be a Green Liberal Democrat …. if anyone is listening!