Strong and stable leadership, that is what we were promised, indeed that is what we are promised every time we come to an election. Our first past the post delivers decisive results and doesn’t leave us with a hung parliament, at least that is what those in power say and to paraphrase the words of Mandy Rice-Davies, they would say that wouldn’t they.
Of late however, the promises of our parliamentarians, at least of those in power have been proved to be hollow and the saying the empty vessel makes the loudest noise has never been more apt. It is time for a change in politics, to a system that represents the electorate better.
Our first past the post system allows governments to have a majority of seats in the Houses of Parliament without securing a majority of the popular vote. The current government secured 42.4% of the vote, delivering it 49% of the seats and so no majority. You will have to go back to the 1950s to find a government with more than 50% of the popular vote.
Let me be clear, as our politicians are wont to say, not since the middle of the last century can any UK government claim to have represented the majority of the voters.
Our first past the post system gives us strong minority governments that can impose policies upon a disenfranchised majority. This is the opposite of a democracy and cannot be acceptable.
This is why on December 12th this year I would like to see a hung parliament, which results in a selection of opinions in the house, with no minority party to get its way. Yes, such a government will be harder to manage, getting policies through will be more difficult, nothing will be a shoo in and legislation will take longer to enact.
However, consensus will need to be formed, different opinions will need to be taken on board, smaller parties will get a role, extremism will be dampened, legislation will be better formed and the people will be better represented.
This is why I am hoping for a hung parliament.