It’s the political conference season, where the great and good gather in seaside resorts or conference centres across the country to preach to the converted. Each party hopes that the media coverage it generates will show it as a dynamic and exciting party with sufficient ideas and drive to lead the country to better times. I’m not sure that many people are bothered as by tomorrow there will be a new set of issues to deal with.
This week it was the turn of the Conservatives and last week it was Labour. Under our system they are the only two parties that could have any prospect of forming a government after the next election. If history is a guide then it will be a Conservative government with Labour as the official opposition.
How come we nominate the other party as the ‘official opposition’? It is yet another anomaly of our discredited political debacle that facilitates a two party system.
I understand how, yet don’t accept that a government should be in power that does not represent more than half of the popular vote. This is what we have now, where more people voted not for the Conservative party than did yet they, the minority, get to tell us, the majority, how it goes. The recognition of Labour as the official opposition makes the situation worse. With just over 32% of the popular vote they cannot speak for the country either.
The leader of the opposition should not automatically go to the leader of the next biggest party. Instead it is a position that should be voted for by all of the MPs outside of the party or parties in government. The leader of the opposition should represent the views of all those that oppose the government. This would give us better legislation, better governance and more accountability.
It won’t happen though because our system is broken and the two biggest parties aren’t going to do anything to change the status quo.