AV, STV, FPTP? The only thing that will make MPs listen is fear
This story cross posted from my blog.
I suppose we all could debate which is the best way to vote and to elect our representatives – and that debate is ongoing.
Some say alternative vote, single transfer voting, first past the post. What is a common theme is that the electoral system is broken – MPs know it, the public know it – so why doesn’t anyone do anything about it?
That is the simplest question to answer. They, parliament and MPs, won’t do anything about it unless there is an advantage for them to get into power – parliament is not a place of representing the people, it is a place where you do as much as you can to get a cushy job for a few years – more if the cabinet get a few things right.
Yes, it SHOULD be a place where the people are represented. That SHOULD go without saying – yet all those people out there who would vote ‘if something was different’ don’t vote. And, to be totally honest, I don’t think they would vote if you brought in a system that was so perfect each MP represented 10 constituents and everything those voters wanted became written on the statue.
What is needed is a good dose of real fear in parliament’s halls. Real fear that MPS are about to lose their job. That would work on the short term. So, as is said in this comment keep the system we have and make it a fixed term of one year for each election, one fifth of parliament elected every year. You have your five year term – but by God would parliament look different.
I know that both Conservative, New Labour nor LibDem wouldn’t go for that idea. It would, after all, mean that they lose some of the power and it would be in the hands of the people for the first time. That in itself scares MPs and Whitehall – more than most realise.
Yet, the election machine is only a part of the over-all problem. Parliament needs MPs, parliamentarians, simple people who are in the game for the betterment of society however they see that betterment.
What you have – and why people are so cynical and sceptic – is you have careerists. Professional politicians who literally “Know nowt!”, they enter parliament and haven’t a clue – ‘Educated idiots’ me ol’ dad used to say.
THAT is the main problem.
So a good dose of fear would work wonderfully in the short term, making it a matter that you cannot enter into government until you have held a job for 20 years, a real one, where graft and hard work is involved – not just being a lawyer.
The minimum age for anyone entering parliament should be 40 years old. Before that earn your stripes elsewhere. It is not so much the voting system that is wrong – it is the quality of the person proffered to be voted for.