Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Referendum 2011: Yes or No?

This is a blurry shot of the Houses of Parliament.

In here, we elect an odd 650 people who become some of the most influential people on the planet, every five years. A legacy of colonialism and a relatively strong economy, the UK punches far above its population size.

So the people that we elect here could have a say on what happens in your back garden. Certainly when it comes to armed conflict, as the UK has been peacefully waging war, on an almost continuous basis for the past 70 odd years.

(I am not a fan of our wars, hence my vote in the last election).

And next Thursday, we have a historic moment, a first for me, a referendum. Where I can choose how I can elect these crooks.

And it is interesting that the AV system being proposed is used in the London Mayoral elections, in the Scottish Parliament and for the Welsh Assembly, so it is a system that many people in the country are used to using.

Thanks to our lack of constitution and revolution, we never had a really choice in how to vote for our politicians. Instead, decisions have been politicians...on how to vote for them...hmmm...

But good news everybody! On Thursday May 5th, this choice is going to be extended to the lot of us. And in 10 or 20 years time, when (and if) my kids are in school, they may well read about this vote. And they may turn to me and ask:

How did you vote?

Or was I too drunk from the wedding to even know about this vote? Just like most of the UK...

It is sad that this once in a lifetime event to really change the political landscape has barely registered on the national consciousness, as we have been far too preoccupied with someone else's wedding and the chance to get drunk over two consecutive Bank Holiday weekends.

I kid you not, this is what most people have been thinking about over the past few months. Just take a look at the Beeb's front page. It will be dominated by the Royal Wedding, but barely a peep about the different voting patterns on offer on May 5th.

But what do I think of both systems.

Well, I think it is clear to anyone that has a trawl through my blog, that I am deeply cynical about much of the British political system. While I think the UK is a fantastic country, the people who run the place are, well, to be honest, wankers.

But then, we get what we deserve.

Every five years, while there are elections, there is no political interest. No real want to change the system, or to improve who we send to represent our wishes and desires in Parliament. Part of that is the problem of power - it is too centralised in the UK as the Treasury collects virtually all the taxes. And he who pays the piper, calls the tune.

If we began to decentralise our tax collection, then you would see a real interest in politics at all levels...

But I digress, this is about the system of voting at a national level.

How will I vote?

Just over a week to decide.

It is a toughie...


magiceye said...

you could well have been speaking about india :)

el director! said...

That was because the British also left you with a rotten system!