Politics is complicated.
I don’t profess to understand it nearly enough. But unless you’re a career politician (like most of those running our country), then you probably don’t understand much of it either. Its almost like its deliberately really really complicated so we think we don’t know enough to have an opinion or we can’t possibly understand so our opinion might make us look silly.
I don’t understand most of politics.
I feel that much of the system is about misrepresentation, and playing the system. Its a power game, involving a lot of spinning (ie; sales speak) to get us to think that one person might represent us better than another and that our vote might make a difference. We are lead to believe we have a choice
I don’t think the political system is fair. Not everyone’s vote counts
Because its complicated its hard to see how we can make a difference. Here’s some points – made simple so I can understand them and do the maths!
There are 650 seats in the House of Commons. A party needs to win one more than half to form a majority government.
Everybody lives in one of the 650 constituencies that the country is divided into. Anyone living in there who is over 18 should be registered to vote
Say (to make it easier for me to do the maths), where you live there are 1000 voters, and there were 5 parties to chose from (blue, red, yellow, green, purple). Let’s assume everybody makes a vote. Say 240 voted for blue and the other 760 votes were split between the other 4 equally so all the others got 190 each. The blues would win this seat even though they only got 240 of the 1000 votes. That means that slightly less than a quarter (25%) of the people wanted the blue team to represent them but now they do..
This is the system of politics in the UK and it’s called “First Past The Post”
An election is won if one ‘colour’ gets more than half the seats. So if blue get 326 seats then their top man (or woman) becomes Prime Minister
So they could win half the seats each with a quarter of the voters. That means only 1/8th (12.5%) of the voting population wanted them to be in charge. OK this is very extreme but with our system of politics it could happen (eek!!!)
Politics is not democratic
In the last election only 65% of the population, who could vote, did vote.
So lets do the maths again. If in your area of 1000 votes only 650 turned up to vote for one of the 5 colours. If blue got 170 votes and the other 480 went equally between the other 4 colours (120 each) . Blue would get that seat despite only 170 of the 1000 people voting for them (that’s only 17%).
Again if only half the seats need to be won by blue and each seat is won by only 17% of the votes, then the blue team runs the country with only 8% of the people wanting them there.
In theory, worse case scenario.
Bad isn’t it.
As only 65% of the voting population actually voted in the last election. In reality at best our current Government, The Conservative Party is representing the country , with, at best only 35% of the voting population wanting them there
That’s not fair is it?
There are probably a million reasons to not bother voting
With 35% of the population that can vote choosing not to, I would, if I were in charge, wonder why. Why is it that one out of every three voters doesn’t want to, chooses not to, or can’t be arsed to vote?
I don’t blame them. With the system we have its hard to see what the point is. First Past The Post is not representative of the populous however you look at it.
There are loads of reasons you might not bother:-
- maybe none of the parties say anything that means anything to you… most of it may as well be in a different language
- maybe there is just so much ‘spin’ you can’t work out what each party stands for. It’s like advertising for sanitary products … do any of them really do the job better than the others
- maybe each party is just so busy slagging of all the other parties they all seem like bickering in a playground
- maybe the system is so unfair that you think your little vote won’t make a difference… but there’s always a chance 9i bet you sometimes by a lottery ticket).
- maybe none of the parties are even talking about the issues that are most important to you
- maybe you just don’t trust anything that any of them are saying (after all they so often change their minds once they win)
- Maybe politics don’t interest you (I have to admit I’m even boring myself now)
- maybe you’re sick that day or something happens and you meant to go but couldn’t
- Maybe you don’t have a polling station near enough to you and you don’t drive and you didn’t consider a postal vote
- Maybe you can’t read and the whole idea is too intimidating
- Maybe it was raining and you just didn’t want to get wet
In the past (and because I don’t know much about politics I can’t tell you how long ago), if you turned up at least and spoilt your paper at least you could register your distain for the system. A spoilt paper was like a vote for “None of the Above” and when the results were announced you would be told how many papers were ‘spoilt’. at least as a disgruntled voter you had a voice, even if it was a little squeaked that might just turn the odd head for a second or two.
These days those papers just get discarded. And if you don’t turn up at all you go down merely as part of the overall statistic. so in the news it will say ‘election turnout , 65% of the electorate turned out to vote”… you would be one of the 35% they didn’t mention
Why am I a Loony? (The eternal question…..)
Apart from the obvious, “I blame the parents”…….
I have been accused that standing as part of The Official Monster Raving Loony Party, is making a mockery of the hard won fight for our right to vote.
However, in my mind our system of politics is downright unfair, crazy even. Positively insane, in fact. And if we’re going to run with an insane system then I suggest why not vote for it.
I don’t know why the other ‘Loonies’ are loonies. Unlike members of most political parties we don’t have to think as a collective. We are allowed to express our own opinions, we do not have to ‘tow the party line’.
I stand because I want to highlight the hypocrisy, injustice and minimal input of democracy in the UKs governing process.
I stand because I want to encourage people who, like me, don’t know everything there is to know about politics, to vote anyway
I stand because I want people to start talking about politics.
I stand because the system sucks, its not fair, it’s not fit for purpose and I want to rebel against it
I stand because I can. Despite the system and its failings, we live in a country where we still have the right to free speech.
I stand because EVERYTHING is political. EVERYTHING is affected by politics. EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF LIFE.
So its important
Anyway, my message to you is this: DO VOTE. Whenever you get the chance. Let’s not have the decision made by 65% of the voting population, lets have it made by all of us.
On the 5th May 2016 there are the Welsh Assembly Elections. It may seem complicated. When you go to the polling station you will have THREE voting slips. One is for individuals standing to represent their Party in your constituency; One will be for Parties representing a Regional seat. There is also the vote for the new Police Commissioner.
You may have been lucky and been visited by representatives of parties… sometimes this is because they care, or because they want your vote, or both. Some Parties will not have visited you, that might mean they don’t care, or they think they’ll get your vote anyway so are a bit cocky ; or it may be that their party doesn’t have the resources to send people out (like many of the smaller parties). I personally think that within Wales, particularly within Brecknockshire and Radnorshire our Conservative MP is a waste of space, he only turns up if there’s a photo opportunity or an election and he rarely stands for the individuals in his patch. I also think our Welsh Libdems do a fabulous job. I think Kirsty Williams is the best representative we can have for Wales; she turns up , she shouts out and she genuinely cares for the individuals within the area. But that’s what I think, it might not be what you think. What I think might completely get your back up, but thats Ok , you have your own opinion and you are allowed to think and vote how you like , that’s my point.
As Lady Lily the Pink, I am 1 of 7 Loonies standing for the Mid and West Wales Regional vote… on the slip alongside the other parties it will say “The Official Monster Raving Loony Party”… . There’s a group of Loonies standing in each of the 5 Welsh regions. There are no Loonies standing in this election for the constituency vote… I told you it was complicated, politics is like that.
Well done for reading this far, I have a tendency to waffle (why use 3 words when 30 will do it more annoyingly!!). Anyway, consider this (why not): if you don’t usually vote, why not vote unusually.
The Official Monster Raving Loony Party
Vote for Insanity, You Know It Makes Sense
Disclaimer: This blog post represents the views of her Ladyship, Lady Lily the Pink and her more serious alter ego, Bernice Benton , and may or may not have any bearing or relation to the opinions of the Monster Raving Loony Party or the individuals I like to think I am representing. I speak for me , as me , and through me…. maybe some of my thoughts and opinions work for you too…