Changes to Voting - A Proposal
I believe there to be something fundamentally wrong with the UK voting system and in this post I intend to propose some simple changes that would go a long way to fixing the issue. This proposal does not intend to enter into the debate on our first past the post system, that is for another discussion. This proposal intends to look at the issue of voting numbers and how representation in the UK government is grossly misrepresentative of the population.
The primary issue is with my last sentence - misrepresentative of the population. This is true in a literal sense, however the government is exactly representative of the voting population, in the 2015 election this was 66.1%. This means that 33.9% of the eligible voting population did not vote, a full third. This number is often mentioned at the end of an election very briefly before being brushed off as the winner is applauded, the loser post analysed and people carry on with business as usual. This number, a third of the population, is not acceptable and should be tackled as a case of utmost urgency.
My proposals are as follows
1. Not voting would be illegal. Just like it is illegal to drive on the road without a licence it should be illegal to not vote. A £1000 fine should be issued to all those who refuse.
2. Not voting would be considered a vote for the status quo. Those who did refuse to attend will have their vote cast by proxy for the current party in power. To not bother is to be happy with how things are.
3. A new option would be present on all ballots to allow a vote for none of the above. To make enforced voting fair this must be present on the ballot. A vote of no confidence is a powerful statement and politicians need to understand just how many people feel this way.
4. Names must not be on the ballot. Politics is turning into a battle of personalities and media based character assassinations. Policy needs to be at the fore, not named and faces.
5. During official election campaigns it should be against the law for parties to condemn each other. So much time is wasted mudslinging that it encourages politicians to act like children. Again, policy should be all we hear.
At the moment NO party can claim they represent the majority and as we have seen with Brexit and the surprise this was to our elected officials, they are hugely out of touch with the actual majority. Until our government is actually the voice of the majority of the country they cannot make the right choices. It is up to us to make them see and hear. I know these proposals are not in place but you can still make a difference on the 8th June. Get out there and vote!