Monday, May 19, 2008

Issue 468 - Power To The People?

I hope everything is ok where you are.

Lots of choice about what to write about today.
I know that some readers loathe and detest sport about as much as I love it, so I checked to see when the last time I did a sporting issue was.

It wasn't that recent in fact, but I'll hold off at least for another week.
The story of Justine Henin retiring can wait.
And the one about Annika Sorenstam retiring.
And Oscar Pistorious winning his battle for Olympic eligibility.
And the 127th FA Cup Final.
And so on.

I could write about the Eurovision Song Contest coming up in Belgrade, where the UK will come last or thereabouts.

But no, this week it's politics.
There are votes on legislation all the time in Parliament, it's how the laws of the land are made, as the 650 odd MPs vote, each one representing around 70,000 voters.

But my question is, how well do they actually represent those voters?
It's big news this week that some votes on abortion and human-animal hyrbid embryo research will be so called 'free votes.'
A free vote means that the individual MP is allowed to vote according to his/her conscience, and has no obligation to vote with the party line one way or the other.

I get confused, not for the first time.

This shows that it's not up to the individual MP on the regular votes, they are expected to vote how the party tells them.
If the majority of the 70,000 in the constituency disagree, the MP tells them that they elected the MP and the party to make the decisions over the course of the term.
Ok, I can get that logic, but yet when MPs vote against their party, which classes them as a rebel, you'll often hear them say 'I have no doubt the majority of my contistuents and the country in general agree with me (i.e. not the party)

In that case are they saying the elecorate chose the party or the MP?
And if they chose the MP, was it so the MP could decide, or so that he could represent the constituents and vote as to their majority view?

Can you see the confusion?
There are 3 clear different options here, and what happens is that politicians claim to be following different ones at different times.

That is logic that *doesn't* wash with me, and strikes me as an obvious case of 'when it suits me'.
This leaves politicians clear to look after their own personal career ambitions rather than represent the people who elected them.
Not all MPs are this wavering in their claims - some are consistent the whole way through the term, so at least with them the voters know which one they'll get.

My view is that it would be nice if a my Member of Parliament represented the people who voted for him, i.e. me!
Surely if every MP voted like that on issues like abortion deadlines, the result would be a true reflection of the country's view on the matter.

I'm glad that I stood in the 2005 election, it's what makes my country a free one.
I thinking more and more that I should stand again in 2010, which gives me 2 years to see what kind of support I could muster before I had to commit.

What do you reckon, a good idea or a bad idea?
Another adventure to set off on, or something I need to be talked out of?
Would I be better off focusing on my curling?

Ok, that's it for this week, I'm off!
'Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. If you know anyone else who you think would enjoy the Great Gordino Newsletter, please pass it on to them!

Transform Your Life In 21 Days:

Fancy making money by writing about politics?

Grab my free 8 Step Goal Achievement Plan by sending a blank email to:

No comments: