We Need a New Kind of Politics
The author argues that May’s general election in Britain demonstrates that ‘there’s a deficit in true democracy in the United Kingdom as worrying as the economic deficit’.
He argues that most members of the public feel unable to influence important decisions, which are made by a small body of powerful, unrepresentative people. He cites as evidence the following:
- Voter turnout was 66.1%
- Almost one in six adults failed to register to vote
- Only one in three MPs are women
- Only 7% of MPs are from ethnic minority backgrounds
- Party allegiance often prevents MPs from genuinely representing the views of their local constituents
The author argues the election lacked inspirational ideas and huge issues such as climate change, the obesity epidemic and mental health were not given enough prominence.
As solutions, he suggests:
- Having more city mayors
- More participatory budgeting by local authorities
- Regional assemblies
- Citizens’ juries and regular votes and informed debates on critical issues
‘The UK invented modern, parliamentary democracy. We now need to reinvent it’, the author concludes.
The article published by The Guardian is an edited extract from Paul Twivy’s book, Be Your Own Politician, published by Biteback Publishing.
Thumbnail image credit: Paul Townsend, Fickr