The elections here in the UK have resulted in a hung parliament. The first since 1974. A hung parliament is one where no political party has a majority of seats, and so cannot take control. Under our constitution this means that the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who has lost the election and was never voted in by the people remains in office. All the parties now huddle in “smoke filled rooms” (this is in quotation marks because under the Labour government smoking in public buildings was banned and can no longer happen) doing deals that the public will never know about.
The problem with elections is that they are completely dishonest. The people are encouraged to believe that their vote counts when in reality it does not. In our election the Liberal party got 23% of the national vote but they will have only 55 of 649 seats in the house. To compound the situation this minority party is now the “King maker” and will determine who is the next prime Minister and control the legislative agenda.
I see though my blog you smiling to yourself, stupid Brits you are thinking. But hang on a minute! In the USA you have 100 seats in the Senate, two parties, one President, a much better system? A look through the history books will show that the system in the USA is no better. When Johnson won the election (1964) back water towns in Florida had more votes than people. Four times in US history the candidate with the most votes has not been voted in. In 2000 Gore received 500,000 more votes than Bush. This was the year that Gore conceded to Bush because Fox News announced Bush had won. Imagine what would have happened in the last ten years, (Iraq, Afghanistan, 9/11) if the peoples wish had been respected and we would have seen President Gore.
In Europe there are more countries with proportional representation, this leads to policies that everyone agrees with. Spain, Portugal and Greece (who is now bankrupt) are in financial difficulties have proportional representation.
So in reality the electorate can only influence events, they don’t determine them. Is it no surprise then that in many countries so few people actually vote? Here the “winning” party received 35% of the vote and only 65% of people voted. By my calculation 22.75% of the people voted to elect the new Prime Minister, and we call that democracy.