ELECTION LETTERS: Democracy defines a free people

It's the General Election this Thursday
It's the General Election this Thursday
Have your say

Politics is boring? A personal opinion. For anoraks like me it’s fascinating, for the rest of the population, it’s just essential. The existence and quality of democracy is what defines a free people.

During the last few months I’ve been told many times that it’s not worth voting because “nothing changes’, “it does not affect me”, or “I’ve no interest”.

People take more care over selecting a one or two week holiday or a used car and worry more about their sports team than over who makes the rules that will govern their lives for years ahead.

If nothing changes it’s because so many of us don’t vote and of those that do, most select candidates based on rosette colours and maybe on a few newspaper and TV headlines. Hardly anyone reads party manifestos except the national media, who report selectively on whatever they think will sell copy by grabbing attention. ( Local papers tend to work differently).

What you do at election times determines how much money you have left after essential bills are paid, how well your children are educated, the quality of medical and social care available if you get ill, what sort of home you live in, the type of job you have and exactly what happens to all the money you earn in the first five months odd of every year, because that’s how much cash gets taken from you in tax, direct and indirect.

One of the new aims of my own party is to change our electoral system and government structure to one that reflects the overall national votes for parliament and local one for councils.

We retain the outdated and undemocratic “first past the post” simply because it hugely favours the old main parties. The last referendum on the subject insultingly offered the worst possible alternative, simply to try and maintain the status quo. Most other nations abandoned FPTP many 
years ago.

We need balanced governments, consensus politics, House of Lords reform, and English votes for English laws, not five year elected dictatorships, because that’s what “ Strong and stable” actually means.

Elections are far more important than any game, holiday, or other interest. For ordinary people, over our lifetimes, more of our money will go to government and councils than anything or anyone else. It will even determine how much your children and grandchildren will have to pay towards the national debt incurred by present governments.

This time round read all the manifestos, listen to the debate and above all vote now rather than complain later.