Thursday, 15 September 2011

MPs shocked at electoral plan

The Guardian reports that MPs were shocked at revelations encapsulated in the proposed plan to make voter registration one of choice, rather than being compulsory as at present. So they should be - and would be if I had my way; they would be provided with 240 volts on a continuous basis until such time as they begged to be allowed to grant a referendum on EU membership - but I digress.

We have Roger Mortimore from pollsters Ipsos Mori warning that the poor, young and ethnic minorities may be disenfranchised by these plans. Well stap my vitals - or as dear Anthony Aloysius Hancock used to say, stone me - we can't have the downtrodden ethnic minority section of our society disenfranchised, what ever next?

That 10% of the electorate may then not be included in voter registration is another example of smoke and mirrors. Looking at voter turnout since 1945 until 2010, it peaked at 83.9% in 1950 and between 1945 and 1997 it remained in the 70% region. It then plummeted to 59.4% in 2001 (so the first 4 years of Blair wiped 12% off the figure of those voting) and in 2005 and 2010 steadied in the mid 60% range.

So between between 1997 and 2010 approximately 35% of the electorate either registered and did not bother to vote or some registered and some didn't. In any event, who is to say that this 10% about which MPs are getting in a tizzy is not already part of the 35% who chose not to vote?

The interesting statistics are those for the estimated turnout by age from which it could be surmised that the poor educational system we have had for the past few decades has not equiped some of those eligible to vote with the necessary ability to know what an 'X' is and where to put it - but again I digress.


john in cheshire said...

I don't want immigrants voting in any of our elections. So, any move to 'disenfanchise' them is good in my books.

Anonymous said...


In the Telegraph there are positive comments for direct democracy on the Swiss model.

It would be politic to lend weight to the idea of direct democracy in this link

Alex said...

john in cheshire, what on earth are you talking about? Christ, the concept of "no taxation without representation" is hundreds of years old and almost universally accepted in the civilised world. Do you really think denying tax-paying residents of the UK a vote is fair because they happen to have been born elsewhere??

Depressing. Especially from a fellow Cestrian. I thought most of us had a bit more common sense and decency...

Anonymous said...

Truth be told, it is more or less pointless voting because there is general political agreement on

1. Nationalised Health
2. Nationalised education
3. No new roads but pointless HS2
4. Vastly expensive green power but little or no reliable power stations
5. Global warming accepted as fact
6. Income taxes
7. foreign interventionst wars
8. EU membership
9. State spending at 40-45% or more of GDP
10. State TV

Take all that off the negotiating table and the political clowns are dancing on the head of a pin.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

jic & Alex, If you are not a Swiss citizen then you don't get a vote - seems fair to me.........

DP111: Would love to, however it would appear I'm blocked (must have upset someone.....?)

Saot|: This is true of course....... Especially when they dance I hope that there will be a bit of hemp attached!

Anonymous said...

Hemp? oh yes, pointless drug wars, I forgot that one

Anonymous said...

jic and alex

You get to be a Swiss citizen not because the government lets you have it, but at the discretion of the people. In some cantons, the Swiss people of the gemeinde(parish), have to personally OK that the applicant has lived a productive life, speaks at least two of the Swiss languages, and is fully integrated with the cultural norms of the Swiss.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

DP111: You are of course quite correct and I should have added that to my earlier comment.

TomTom said...

Do you really think denying tax-paying residents of the UK a vote is fair because they happen to have been born elsewhere??

Are you for real ? There are lots of foreigners paying tax in the UK WITHOUT the right to vote. It would be preposterous to have a nation state where foreigners could determine its is bad enough that Britain allows Cypriots, Irish Republic Citizens and New Commonwealth Citizens to stand for Parliament and vote.....but then Britain is not a nation but a franchise

WitteringsfromWitney said...

TT: You beat me to it! Too right in what you say, that a nation state's future can be determined by foreigners - perish the thought. I wonder what Aklex's view would be if his idea was introduced into his family circle - perhaps we could insist that our views be observed?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

TT: sorry, typo - shud have read "Alex's view would be"