Poor old Jack

Brookes Cartoon

In the American and French elections, we have seen a huge increase in voter turnout. In France it was verging upon 80% these type of statistics is something that we can only dream of here in the UK.

I partly think this is due to the sheer distrust of Members of Parliament. It is not helped with the financial irregularities on all sides of the house, but no sooner has all this died down, then they claim they should not be bugged like almost any other citizen could be. I think it gives this arrogant view of ‘We cannot be bugged we talk about important things, don’t you know, we are Members of Parliament after all!’

Its this incredibly self important view and almost treating the voter so nonchalantly that I think puts an awful lot of people of politics and off voting. I think we need to seriously consider some of the Privileges of MPs, after all they are servants of the people . . .

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3 thoughts on “Poor old Jack

  1. I think what you’ll find is that at least in America, actually physically registering to vote is a much harder process than over here in the UK, therefore when people do go through the lengthy and complex process they are far more likely to be the type of person to vote hence the American statistics of voter apathy being so low. In contrast in the UK we have a short form which is filled out once a year, thus the majority of our populous is registered.
    With regards to your comments on MP’s being bugged, I think you’ve completely looked over the main issue here. The whole point of MP’s being excluded isn’t to give them some sort of privilege but to ensure that such a power isn’t abused, be it by civil servants or fellow MP’s, I’m pretty confident Gordon Brown would love to know what’s being discussed in Cameron’s office. Though I do take your point;and some MP’s have been acting with the arrogance you speak of, furthermore MP’s should not be above the law, but the WIlson Doctrine already allows for this, with a provision for bugging in instances of national security (a statement is to be made to the commons in such an instance and the PM will of course be aware of the situation) the instance of Sadiq Kahn appears to have breached this. What is more worrying is that our current Prime Minister doesn’t even seem to be aware of such important going’s on in his own government!!

  2. I think turnout rises and falls in cycles. Turnout at the last election was about 62% (up two points from 2001). I think this will probably rise at the next election when things get closer, perhaps up to around the mid-high sixties.

    You also have to factor in the importance of the issues that prevail. In 1997 there was such an anti-tory feeling that turnout reached 71.2%, although this was made smaller by the fact that a Labour victory was almost inevitable. The 1979 turnout was historically high at 76%, for obvious reasons.

    In fact if you look at turnout since 1979 it is not overly low historically. Perhaps under average, but not such that it can’t be explained by the political cycle.

  3. I think you may have mis intrepreted what I meant Sam, I think the fact that MPs are not bugged is partly a privlidge and partly a necessity. I think that though in terms of national secuirty I think this law needs to be analysed more deeply, the Wilson doctrine, was set up in a completely different international environment to where we are now.

    My overall point is that MPs cannot bury their head in the sand thinking all the problems of bugging, allowances and expenses will all drift them by. These laws are incredibley old, we live in a completely different society and they need to be updated, it is a shame that we need to always wait for something to happen before the MPs take any course of action!

    Daniel, I take those points on board, but I think there are other are other explanations as well for why political turn out has falled. I also believe it will probably rise at the next election as I still believe that it is likely to be one of the most closely fought elections to have taken place in modern times.

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