Mad, bad and dangerous for democracy…the Boundary Review

Leaving aside the party politics of the boundary review, which is something that Labour should probably actually do, it is quite clear to me that the Boundary Review is bad for democracy. Therefore, we, as the opposition should be seeking to build a broad alliance of disaffected MP’s from all Parties. Failing that we should pledge to reverse it in our next term in government in any case.

We should nail some myths. These measures will not deliver ‘equal’ and therefore ‘fairer’ votes. As a political consultant Lewis Baston told Fact Check;

It’s a bit of a category mistake to talk about ‘balance’ in a single member district electoral system like ours. If you want to have an electoral system where the seats won reflect the votes cast, you have to have PR.

As the same article points out, there are also other causes of uneven numbers of electors in a constituency, some of which will not even be touched or made worse by these changes. If you look at the problem of voter registration for example, I don’t think the news that as far as the Boundary Commission are concerned they are non-people (whose representative needs therefore do not need to be considered) will exactly enthuse them to rush out and register. However if they did, spurred on by an entertainer political party, a mass programme of voter registration would easily throw these plans into chaos and cause a almost potentially permanent state of flux. Incidentally, this would also make the numbers uneven.

Constituency are linked to geographical entities for good reasons, civic pride, practicality of representing a tightly-defined geographical area etc, etc. The Boundary Review will all undermine this. If you don’t believe me then maybe you should ask the people of Salford who have been told rather curtly they no longer exist as an independent town or maybe you could talk to the people of Leeds and Bradford who are likely to be forced into a shotgun marriage named Leeds West and Pudsey. Undermining the constituency role of MP’s and complicating it further is, in my eyes, another blow for democracy and something that is likely to lead to more voter disengagement.

We need to move a bit beyond the party politics of this debate and look at the damaging wider implications. This way we will craft an alliance in Parliament and in the wider country that can defeat these profoundly undemocratic and muddle-headed proposals.


About darrellgoodliffe


10 responses to “Mad, bad and dangerous for democracy…the Boundary Review”

  1. Paul Perrin says :

    I think the ‘size of the electorate’ argument is 100% bogus.

    With MP elected with the votes of as few as 17% of the electorate or as much as 45% (leaving 83% or 55% voters ‘losing’ respectively) equal size of electorate adds no ‘fairness’ or ‘credibility’.

    I am not particularly a fan of PR – but it does have the merit of each MP having received the same *number of votes*.


  2. Graham Gillis says :

    I agree with you Darrell, we should abolish all boundaries.
    Remind me how that works again?


  3. darrellgoodliffe says :


    I think your right. It is bogus. I am not a fan of pure PR either.


    I see where this is going….your taking my argument on another issue and applying it to another issue completely out of context…you scamp


  4. graham gillis says :

    It is a perfect example of how your open borders dream is a disaster. I doesn’t make sense in your own back yard. Why and how is it sensible as a national or global goal?.


  5. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Only somebody who has completely lost their sense of perspective would conflate national borders with constituency boundaries….


  6. graham gillis says :

    Only a political incompetent would think removing borders is good for democracy.
    There are comments in your post that become more relevant when viewed as national issues; geographical area, civic pride, voter engagement. You say; “We need to move a bit beyond the party politics of this debate and look at the damaging wider implications. This way we will craft an alliance in Parliament and in the wider country that can defeat these profoundly undemocratic and muddle-headed proposals.” Well you can’t because your basic political philosophy is flawed.


  7. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Of course its good for democracy – it brings people into line with the free movement of capital we currently have and I happen to think people should have more rights than capital….you still havent justified your comparison here….


  8. graham gillis says :

    The democratic wish of the majority people of this country is to have properly controlled immigration and therefore borders.
    Political idiots are denying us a vote on this.
    The same idiots equate movement of money with movement of people. The same idiots have ruined the social fabric of most of our towns by encouraging unrestricted immigration. Ruining lives by moving people for their votes, cheap labour and some deluded political dream of global government.
    The comparison between borders and boundaries should be obvious, even to an idiot.


  9. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Well if that’s the case then obviously I disagree BUT also, people are not being denied a vote, if that’s your main concern then vote for UKIP, for example.

    No, I didn’t equate them, I merely said I think people are more important than money and should have more rights than it does, it’s not saying they are the same thing.

    Borders and electoral boundaries bear no relation. One is around a single polity, a nation state, and are the areas that polity is divided into for representational purposes. National borders do not define the area in which people elect a representative to a wider polity – they are self-contained units, so they are obviously not the same thing.


  10. graham gillis says :

    “Vote UKIP if you want properly controlled immigration and borders.”

    Truth for a change, amongst the bull.


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