Tim Bale concludes that the June 2017 election resulted in neither main party being able to form a government (“This election took us back to the future”, Comment).
This is only a startling confirmation of how direly the British electoral system needs renewal. Every time such a notion is mentioned, almost everyone, in and out of politics, lines up to denounce the very impertinence. Westminster, with its antique, first-past-the-post electoral system, is hailed as the Rolls-Royce of democracies, the envy of the world. What tosh! This is the system that is steadily producing an increasingly divided and dysfunctional society. One that works for fewer and fewer of us.
The broad lesson from our continental neighbours, nearly all of whom have some form of proportional representation, is that healthier political systems produce fairer and less divided societies. If the debacle of the general election result teaches us anything, it is that the time to reform our voting system is long overdue. Far from everything looking bleak, we live in an era of unprecedented real wealth and capability. Only astute and fair political reform can unlock the promise of the future.
It would be interesting to conduct some research on the number of Lib Dem and Green supporters who tactically voted to strengthen the Labour cause and rid us of the Tory scourge. In all the adulation being heaped on the Labour party and all the limelight that Labour is basking in, some gratitude should be shown to the many of us who had to betray our principles and beliefs to assist Labour. Of course, this would have been unnecessary with a proportional representation system, the case for which grows increasingly stronger as we see the trend to marginal or hung governments.
Michael F Jones
Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
Andrew Rawnsley claims that no one won the election(“There’s a member of the living dead walking Downing Street”, Comment). But the winners were the public, in that it…