So we have had an election, and many of us are dismayed at the result: a minority of voters (approximately 37% of a turnout of approximately 66%, i.e. roughly one quarter of the electorate) giving enough power to one party to form a government, to continue to pursue policies we voted against. ‘To finish the job they started’ some supporters say. That is, to impose more austerity on those already most deprived groups; to pursue ‘growth’ at all costs, to subsidise the fossil fuel industry, the frackers and co; to continue their attack on the NHS, enabling more privatisation and empowering corporations with instruments like the TTIP; to ‘crack down on extremism’ and seek to repeal the Human Rights Act….
In a really equal democracy, every or any section would be represented, not disproportionately, but proportionately. A majority of the electors would always have a majority of the representatives, but a minority of the electors would always have a minority of the representatives. Man for man, they would be as fully represented as the majority. Unless they are, there is not equal government … there is a part whose fair and equal share of influence in the representation is withheld from them, contrary to all just government, but, above all, contrary to the principle of democracy, which professes equality as its very root and foundation.
How far away from this ideal we are, when there is not even a correspondence between the majority of electors and the majority of representatives.
Copyright ©2015 F. Watts