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Democracy? Pfft!

People say there’s no reason to be bitter about the outcome of the election. Labour won it fair and square, right? The result reflects the will of the people, like in any good democracy? Rubbish. There was nothing “fair and square” about this election and there’s every reason to be bitter about its outcome.

Now, let me blind you with statistics. Let’s first of all discuss this “will of the people” thing. While it is true that, by a whisker, Labour won the greatest proportion of the votes (35.2%), consider the following:

  • 35.2% is way under half of all votes cast. This means that 64.8% of votes cast were not for New Labour.
  • When taking turnout into account, only 22% of voters voted for Labour. The others either voted for another party, or didn’t vote at all. So now we have Labour winning with less than a quarter of the electorate voting for them.
  • Broadly, the proportion of the UK population that is eligible to vote is two thirds (very broadly: 60 million population, 40 million electorate). Applying this 2:3 ratio to the portion of the electorate that voted Labour means that just under 15% of the population voted for them. Yes, the current (or, technically, the soon to be formed) government was put in power by less than 15% of the population of the country, all of which have to live under its governance and law.

I’d therefore hardly call Labour’s win “the will of the people”, so don’t bleat on about it. The will of the people is apparently absolutely irrelevant when deciding who’s going to run the country.

Observe the charts below. Both show the same data, but in different ways. They both show the percentage of the votes each party received plotted against the percentage of Commons seats they won with that vote, the number of seats won is of course what counts at the end of the day.

Donut!

Donut!

Bar chart!

Bar chart!

Exactly how can a system be fair when it can allow a party to gain 24.7% extra seats with only 2.9% extra votes over the next most popular party? How the fuck does that work? I’m not saying that the Tories deserved to win, indeed their proportion of seats is very close to their proportion of the vote, so the system obviously works in their case, but look at the Liberal Democrats: 22% of votes were cast for them, yet they only get 9.6% of the seats. Their votes-to-seat ratio (in terms of percentage) is 2.29, yet Labour’s is 0.63, which means that the Libdems apparently had to work 3.7 times harder to win seats than Labour did.

Seriously, don’t talk to me about “democracy” and “winning fair and square”. There’s nothing democratic, fair or square about this whatsoever. As I’ve said before, don’t ask me to come up with a foolproof alternative, because I don’t have one and as I’m not a politician it’s frankly not my job to do so. But that doesn’t mean that I, as a voter, am not allowed to voice my great dissatisfaction with this so called “democracy”. Indeed, if the UK was a tin-pot sandy country in the Middle East, George Bush would have probably come and enacted regime change by now since the makeup of the government most certainly does NOT reflect the will of the people.

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