The AV Campaigns – Highlighting What Is Wrong With Politics

Posted: April 21, 2011 in Politics
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With a couple of weeks to go until the May 5th referendum both the “Yes” and “No” brigades are in full electioneering swing. There are “Party Political” style broadcasts on TV, and leaflets going through every door telling everyone and their dog what is wrong with the other’s system. Am I the only one that is just a little bit tired of the bickering and electioneering being employed by both sides?

We have the “No” campaign, desperately trying to discredit Nick Clegg and his involvement in the campaign, based on his past political errors. And we have the “Yes” campaign, desperate to discredit the “No” campaign over their funding. Sounds to me like just about every election over the past 50 years, nobody seems ever to focus on their own party or cause…it’s easier to slander and bully the opposition parties or causes. And this is where the real political reform is needed, not in the voting system.

There is a great political apathy in this country, and with the quality of politicians representing us, it’s easy to see why. Labour’s Phil Woolas was removed from his seat and sacked by the party over unfounded lies in his election literature. The Conservatives ran a billboard campaign whose sole aim was to point out all the things they thought Gordon Brown had done wrong. The Lib Dems had one where they said just how much extra tax people would pay under a Conservative Government. And all the minor parties had their own digs at the main parties and each other.

So why do parties do this? My own opinion is because it is a get-out clause, it stops them having to talk positively about their own policies. I watched a lot of the last election campaign with interest, and by the end of it I have to say I had no idea what any of the main parties were planning to do if they gained power. It’s a handy tool for parties, but what it does is it assumes the voting public are idiots who can’t be trusted to make an informed and unbiased decision. It’s time this stopped.

A change in the election rules is needed in order to stop parties treating the electorate like idiots. The rule change I would like to see is to ban political parties using election campaigns as tools in which to smear their opponents, and to treat the electorate in a fair and unbiased manner by publishing and fully explaining their manifesto commitments. By doing this, people will be able to choose the party that best fits their own political beliefs, and it will allow the public to hold any future Government to account over its failings. This is where the reform in politics is needed, not a change in voting system.

By defeating voter apathy, we will ensure a much fairer political system without actually having to make costly changes. A fairer system is a better system, and a better system ensures a brighter future.


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