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The Vote

    The Government are increasingly concerned at the falling numbers of those turning out to vote at elections. They have scrambled around trying allsorts to change this. Look at the postal votes fiasco! These days the electorate are collectively wiser than they used to be. They know that the constituency system is political theft. It steals their vote.

    Take, say, Rotherham. It is a Labour "safe seat" usually enjoying a 20,000 majority. The non Labour electorate in Rotherham know that a vote for any other party is a waste of their time, so they don't bother to vote. The UK is supposed to be 1 man, 1 vote but if the system denies you the right to place an effective vote, is it really democracy? CB thinks not.

    Proportional representation is an answer. If we look at, say, Yorkshire. Using figures supplied by David Boothroyd at it has 53 constituencies that are wholly within the Yorkshire border. It has 2 that are mostly within the Yorkshire border and it has 8 that are partly within the Yorkshire border and most of the constituency is outside of Yorkshire. If we take the Yorkshire border as our voting area, keep the 2 constituencies that are mostly in Yorkshire, we have 55 seats. Why don't we allow each party to field up to 55 candidates in Yorkshire. If we then allocate the 55 seats to those standing who polled the top 55 totals in the count, then every vote would count.

    Safe seats allow carpetbagging, where someone who is a household name that gets voted out at an election can stand at the next opportunity. Why? If the people said they didn't want that person, why should that person be "given" a seat. If someone is to stand for election in, say, Yorkshire, they should either have been born in Yorkshire, or should have resided in Yorkshire (ie as their main residence) for the last 10 years. This would stop carpetbagging.

    Having got our 55 MP's after the election, they should be "allocated" their constituencies on the basis of highest vote polled gets first seat. Oh, by the way, If your residence is Rotherham or birthplace was Rotherham, that should be your seat, not Leeds or somewhere further afield. Such a re-organisation would allow us to clean house at the same time. Why do we need something over 650 MP's at a cost of over £50,000 each per year (PLUS EXPENSES)? Why not 400. That would save the country some 40% of the wage bill, let alone the saving in expenses payable.

    Lastly, the vote is supposed to be a secret ballot. Last time CB voted CB received a polling card through the post. These are sent to the voter to establish who they are and that they have the right to vote. They carry the voters name and address and a serial number and are designed to prevent voting fraud (ie. people voting more than once).  CB took the polling card to the poll station, where they exchanged it for his voting slip. The voting slip had a serial number on it which was different to the number on the polling card. The electoral clerk got the voting slip from a book which had a counterfoil in it with the voting slip number on it. The clerk wrote the number from the polling card in pencil on the back of the counterfoil of the voting slip thus connecting the two! A simple database where the two numbers could be entered would give an instant link to your name, address and how you voted. Please do not ask CB to believe that there isn't a database somewhere that is a record of how we all voted last time (and the time before, and the time before and the time.............).

    Well UK Government, come on, give the people their vote back and then you might see a return to belief in our political system. The erosion of the power of the electorate as described above is a reality and you can no longer justify the current constituency regime as democracy!

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© The JSC Group March 2006