Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “Electoral Registration”

The Crisis of Indirect Democracy and its Consequences

Indirect democracy is a fragile child. In effect we say we (“democratically”) elect representatives to a body that then “does governing for us”. This is in stark contrast to direct democracy – which in its most extreme state has everybody having a vote on everything.

Parliaments should be shining examples of indirect democracy at work. They consist of “representatives”, not mandated delegates, who collectively form a body that should be recognised as “representative”. Their legitimacy depends, I believe, on three factors.

  • Whether elections to the parliament are recognised as “free and fair”
  • Whether the resulting parliament is recognised as “representative”
  • Whether the parliament through its collective actions and the actions of its members retains the “respect of the people”.

In the UK, I think we are, to a degree, failing on all three of the above. Read more…


The Franchise

The blog Julian’s  Musings has recently been discussing “Universal suffrage” and this has had me trying to clamber through my thoughts about “entitlement to the vote”. Read more…

Registration and Democracy

Ban benefits for those not registered to vote, says MP

People who are not registered to vote should not expect to get state pensions and other benefits, says a Labour MP.

Siobhain McDonagh wants to bring in a bill that would make access to public services dependent on being on the electoral roll.

She said it would restore millions to the electoral register at a stroke and “ensure they engage” in democracy.
BBC News Website 17 July 2013

Being registered has nothing to do with “engaging in democracy”.  Most of us live outside the marginals and therefore our votes really don’t matter. Read more…

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