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Oh No It’s No….

May 8, 2011

 

Wadebridge, England – It’s ok, it’s ok it really is…..

I’ve manned up and taken it on the chin, the No vote won the UK Referendum on electoral reform. So it’s No to an Alternative Vote (AV) system, thus in perpetuity we are stuck with a first past the post voting system.

The result put the Yes vote at 32.1% per cent and the No vote at 67.9% per cent. As a supporter of democracy and with a result as clear as that I guess I simple have to accept it. But was this actually a referendum on UK democracy itself? With only 41 per cent of those eligible to vote doing so that means that 59 per cent of potential  voters simple were not interested in participating, that in its self is a stark comment on the state of UK democracy. After all apathy and disenchantment are the worst enemies that democracy can have.

Still there is much fun ahead for those of us who believe that the last time most of the UK was properly ruled was between 1653 and 1658 – New Model Army anyone?

Upcoming is reform of the UK’s second Parliamentary House, the House of Lords. As part of their coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats the Conservatives held out the possibility that the House of Lords would become a fully elected body, not as now filled with those there by birthright, those chosen by party political friends and cronies and with 26 Bishops thrown in for good measure. Yes the UK is actually the only Western country which is a semi-theocracy.

It appears that the Lib Dems have already been outmanoeuvred on this one as press reports indicated that they have settled on a House of Lords that is 80 per cent elected and 20 per cent appointed, with 26 places reserved of course for the Anglican bishops. Apparently a Committee of House of Commons and House of Lords members will be set up to thrash out the details, but they won’t be reporting until 2012. So I’m betting that there simple won’t be “time” to fit in the necessary legislation before the next general election in 2015. Not to mention of course that if the coalition goes up the swanny all this Lords reform stuff does too and lets face it if you were a Lord would you vote to abolish yourself! Plus its a handy 300 quid a day in expenses.

Meantime in bonny Scotland the Scottish National Party (SNP) has won control of the Scottish Parliament meaning that it will bring forward a referendum on Scotland seeking independence. You can’t but admire the way SNP leader and Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond handles himself. He says what he does and does what he says, will he be the First President of Scotland will the Queen still be Queen of Scotland. Mr Salmond’s view may well be reflected in the fact that he was prepared to unveil  a 10 ft-high bronze “Exiles” statue in Helmsdale, Sutherland. This commemorates the people forced from their lands during the Highland Clearances, strangely few English politicians attended the event.

Then there’s the West Lothian question. A devolved English parliament anyone, I won’t be holding my breath.

What could be more fun politics or biking?  Got to be biking, on balance it’s a more honest pastime.

Ride safe and enjoy your early summer riding

© Back Roads Rider 2011

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2011 7:40 pm

    “that in its self is a stark comment on the state of UK democracy. ”

    Indeed.

    Though whats the percentage of voters in the General elections, its about the same, yet how many people watch big brother type crap on the TV, so perhaps elections could be counted via telephone, though that might not be such a good idea, I mean the charges would be extortionate.

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