We need to talk about our democracy

One phrase I keep seeing in this run up to the 2017 election is, ‘don’t complain if you don’t vote’. As if being a citizen simply depends on voting once every few years for a stuffed suit that claims to represent your views. So being a citizen does not reside in critical thinking about politics, or the willingness to engage and be active in politics then? Or in the day to day decisions of how we all live our lives? Nope, just vote for that old man over there for everything to be fine and dandy….yeah right. Except it’s not.

I’ve been voting since 1987 and always get an old white man in a suit. With our miserably inept First Past the Post voting system the Green party very rarely get into power although their proportion of the vote is slowly increasing. The indefatigable Caroline Lucas continues to shine like a beacon of hope and sanity in the House of Commons. A politician with integrity and long term solutions, well fancy that.  Should I move to Brighton, Bristol, Norwich or the Isle of Wight to get the political representation I’d prefer? 

Perhaps, but believing things will change…well, that takes some sort of hope nowadays. I’m fed up with voting for more of the same crap. It’s not good enough.  Politics feels like being in an abusive relationship, one where the public is ignored, stolen from and treated with contempt whilst expected to swallow lie after lie. It’s not apathy that turns people away from politics it’s the lack of trust and integrity. A lack of positive meaningful action and genuine representation. Meanwhile the planet is going into meltdown as we continue to over populate and over consume.

Neoliberalism won’t back down, it brings the worst out in people. Encouraging rampant, voracious, selfish behaviour that cares not for the species future survival or that of all the other species going extinct.  As we live through increasingly extreme weather events and natural disasters politicians are still pushing through things like fracking and fossil fuel subsidies (the posh word for rich people’s benefits). Surely it’s time for real change? 

The Constitution Unit Blog

me 2015 (large)Meg-RussellRecent days have seen ferocious attacks against the roles of both judges and parliamentarians in our democratic system. Alan Renwick and Meg Russell write that this assault is just the latest in a series of signs that the quality of our democracy is under threat. In light of this they argue for concerted efforts to defend that democracy: by pushing back hard against immediate challenges to the rule of law, resisting the lures of populism, and listening to those tempted by populist and anti-political rhetoric.

Thursday’s High Court ruling on Article 50 (assuming it is confirmed by the Supreme Court), means no more than that the government cannot legally begin formal Brexit negotiations without parliament’s consent. The judges did not question the validity of the referendum result or try to block the UK’s withdrawal from the EU – they just clarified the law. Parliament – as demonstrated by many MPs’…

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