Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the tag “elections”

Petitions

Being just a tad politically active 😉 I get to sign an awful lot of petitions and I’ve been giving them some thought of late.

In pre Internet days they were a good way of expressing complaint or desires to those who had the power to make changes. Thousands of signatures on paper meant people actually stopped, took time to think about the issue and physically make the effort to sign and consequently it said to governments or whatever, look out, listen to us or you could lose the power you have.

Now it’s so easy to just click a link, click ‘sign’, feel good about yourself for a couple of seconds and that’s it ’til the next one. Along with the huge proliferation of petitions, the meaning and effect of on-line petitions has been reduced to almost zero. The recipient never sees detail of the numbers signing just a total, maybe issues a meaningless response and presses the delete button.

Originally an aid to more open and accountable governance and a useful feedback to Ministers or CEO’s of Multi Nationals they are now barely an irritant. A possible consequence of this is a growing feeling of impotence that could then lead to more direct action which would lead to more repression leading towards riots in an escalating spiral.

The now five yearly General Elections when none of us get the government we thought we had voted for is not sufficient for the maintenance of peaceful democracy and freedom. We are at an impasse, what should or could be done? What do you think?

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Our Election Humiliation

Well, that’s it, the General Election date is finally to be announced today. The date when we, the electorate, shall decide to whom we will lend our power for the next probable five years. Yes, our power, as citizens in a supposedly free and democratic society.

Before this can happen though our elected Prime Minister must go to Buckingham Palace and ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament in order for the election to take place. It is a national humiliation that the permission, even if somewhat symbolically, of an unelected, undemocratic, Head of State who is only there by virtue of being born into one particular family, should be sort.

If we elect a party with an overall majority then the Government is not effective until the Monarch has given her approval and in the event of a ‘hung Parliament’ again it is the Queen who ‘invites’ one Party to form the Government. In addition it is through the Monarch’s Privy Council that powers that we, the people, did not give to the Prime Minister of the day are wielded. It is time to embrace true democracy and end our humiliation.

Election for Sale

I’m not going to go into the obvious scandal of Lord Ashcroft but it does point to a big fault line in our weak democracy.

The cost of elections escalates with every one of them so it doesn’t take a genius to realise that eventually, if not already, that the party that can lay claim to the most money stands a far greater chance of winning. That is not democracy that is akin to buying votes. Surely it is time that a limit is set to what can be spent by any party both at an election and also and perhaps even more importantly, on any one constituency between elections.

In addition we must have a fully elected 2nd chamber and therefore do away with buying seats in the Lords, Bishops and aristocracy influencing our laws and while we’re at it lets have an elected head of state. Then and only then can we lay any sort of claim to actually being a democracy.

BNP By Royal Invitation

Our Head of State, Elizabeth (the last?), has kindly sent out an invitation to Nick Griffin and his deputy to a garden party at Buck House.

For once I am almost struck speechless. What kind of a signal does this send out to voters with the local and European elections coming up in just a few weeks? The Royal stamp of approval to a bunch of fascist Nazi supporters gives the lie to the oft stated opinion of Royal supporters that we need the Monarchy because of their accumulated wisdom.

Thinking of Voting BNP?

The BNP under it’s leader Nick Griffin try to hide their anti semitism but underneath they are just the same bunch of ignorant thugs as their previous party name the National Front. So if understandably, you are disillusioned by the main parties and thinking of lending your vote to the BNP perhaps the following will help you to think again.

Peers Knuckles to Be Rapped

A couple of Peers, Lord Truscott and Lord Taylor have been found guilty of being willing to amend laws in exchange for cash have been recommended for suspension from the House of Lords for up to six months.

Wow! As much as that for taking bribes, bringing the House of Lords into even more disrepute and shame on the Labour Party. What on earth will they do with themselves for six months away from the House? Just have to be content with their business interests and make money I suppose.

At least with the current scandals in the House of Commons when it comes to elections we can, if we choose, vote out those whom we distrust. The Lords are unelected, undemocratic and beyond the reach of the electorate. Tony Blair promised reform of this anachronistic, medieval chamber but did nothing. It is time that we demanded our democratic right to elect all who make decisions on our behalf.

Treason?

In the post today I received my Poll Card for the forthcoming European and local council elections. I don’t usually bother to read all the guff on the back but being a bit bored I suppose, this time I did. It included the following instruction. “Show the presiding officer the number and other unique identifying mark on the back of the ballot paper…….”

I rang the Local Returning Officer and asked him if this ‘number and unique mark’ could in theory be used to identify how I voted. Well, apparently it can but only if I were suspected of Treason! It seems that the master copy of numbers & marks are sealed and kept for six months following an election and were it found that a ballot paper had for example treasonous remarks on the back of it then a judge could order the unsealing of the master copy in order to identify the author of this treason.

Now being a Republican this is a bit unnerving as I just might not be able to help myself and as the Local Returning Officer pointed the penalty for treason is still hanging.

Act of Succession

A private members bill is to be debated today in Parliament, which if passed into law (unlikely) would make it possible for catholics to inherit the crown and become head of state. The bill also proposes to abolish discrimination against females in line for the throne.

Well, quite right too, this is the 21st centuary after all is said and done and fairness, equality without any discrimination should prevail.

Hang on though! If we agree and I can’t imagine anyone of sound mind disagreeing, that ‘fairness, equality without any discrimination should prevail’ then obviously the head of state should be elected to that position. In that same spirit of course, the Queen or her heirs could also stand for election.

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