Monday, 4 August 2014

We're all sceptics!

I have often thought that, if there was a world opinion poll asking, “Do you believe in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism etc?” an overwhelming majority would vote “No” to each of them.


Friday, 1 August 2014

Recalling elected representatives

The Government has promised to introduce a Bill to allow electors to recall MPs and some people have suggested that it should also apply to Councillors.

Basically, I think it is yet another distraction from campaigning for an effective voting system, which would let voters “recall” representatives at the end of their term of office.  First Past The Post does not allow that because about 70% of MPs and many Councillors have safe seats.
Recall would be a cosmetic tinkering to make the system look more democratic without much real effect.  It would be a sticking plaster, when radical surgery is needed.

If the right to recall was very powerful, it would be an irresistible temptation to opposition parties, when the polls were running in their favour, to force by-elections for political purposes in marginal constituencies.

If the right was not very powerful, it would not be very useful anyway.

MPs and Councillors should be automatically expelled if they are convicted of offences, or perhaps if the sentence is at or above a certain level.  If they have not broken the law but have sailed close to breaking it or have failed to perform constituency duties adequately, that is for voters to judge at the next election and, with an effective voting system, they could exercise that judgement against a particular candidate without necessarily voting against their usual party.

The only voting system I know that could achieve this is the Single Transferable Vote (STV) in multi-member constituencies. I recommend for more information about STV.

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