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A democracy means rule by the people. The name is used for different forms of government, where the people can take part in the decisions that affect the way their community is run. In modern times, there are different ways this can be done:
- The people meet to decide about new laws, and changes to existing ones. This is usually called direct democracy.
- The people elect their leaders. These leaders take this decision about laws. This is commonly called representative democracy. The process of choosing is called election. Elections are either held periodically, or when an officeholder dies.
- Sometimes people can propose new laws or changes to existing laws. Usually, this is done using a referendum, which needs a certain number of supporters.
- The people who make the decisions are chosen more or less at random. This is common, for example when choosing a jury for a trial. This method is known as sortition or allotment. In a trial, the jury will have to decide the question whether the person is guilty or not. In Europe, trials with a jury are only used for serious crimes, such as murder, hostage taking or arson.
To become a stable democracy, a state usually undergoes a process of democratic consolidation.
The above is a definition of Democracy, but there are many others.
My own view is Democracy is the free voting by the population of a country to elect members to enact the views of the population.
Mainly this is done by a General Election here the population elect members (MPs or Members of Parliament) to represent them in a collective body, in the UK this is in Westminster, the House of Commons. Each candidate in each constituency issue their own Manifesto or is it the manifesto of their party. Ideally the voters in each constituency vote for their representative from the information contained in the such Manifesto. But in reality do they for each household my not receive details of each prospective parliament candidates manifesto and in many instances not even their name. When they vote on Poling Day the voting paper contains the name of each person up for election and also the Party they represent. So are the electorate voting for a named person, a named party, or both. Well who knows for this information is not available.
Then in the Manifesto there are so many areas contain within it. The voter my believe in all of the stated areas, but in reflection do they for who collects this information. However, the winning candidate in each constituency is them the MP for that constituency and when all results or in the Party who has the most elected MPs is requested to form a Government, if they can or a coalition of other parties or party. When this process is concluded are there any rules that the winning party progress through their 5 years on the basis of the manifesto, short answer is no, but it is assumed that they will and if they do not there is an opportunity at the end of 5 years to vote them back in or not.
During the course of the Parliament there my be occasions to call a Referendum on a stated subject with various options available from 2 or more.
One such referendum was the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum and this should have been a simple process for there was only 2 options to leave the EU or to remain. Facts were produced by all the various parties on either remaining or leaving, but were the fact mentioned correct. No they were not in many instances from both sides remain or leave.
The result was 52% to 48% to leave the EU, so this should have been cut and dried that all persons involved should have been working together to obtain the best possible result to leave. But remain did not honour that result and started an all out campaign to reverse the result.
The result was, in no question, a result to leave based on the percentage of those that were prepared to vote and the turnout was 72.21%, way above the usual percentage turnout for a General Election being
‘In 2001, turnout fell to 59.4%, its lowest level since 1918 and down 12% points compared with 1997. Although turnout rose again in 2005-2010, it was still below its 1997 level. In 2017 UK turnout was 66.8%, and turnout in each of the countries of the UK was below the 1918-2017 average for the UK, which was 72.9%.’ according to Turnout at elections, Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
Based on that information the elected representatives should have supported the leave vote as it was a turnout large than any General Election, certainly since 2001 and the results of General Election are not normally questioned.
This brings into question do elected representatives, MPs have to follow the views of their electorate, or can they do as they please, surely with such a turnout and a result not based on party allegiance, they should have abided by the result.
During our negotiations with the EU there should have been no question to query that the UK was going to leave the EU, but with the strong demand by persons not respecting the result, did they believe such or was there a strong feeling that the remainers would succeed in overturning the 2016 result.
Many points have been raised to invalidate the result, the people did not understand what they were voting for, leave lied during their campaign, the views of the younger generation (those under 18 years of age at the time of the Referendum) were not represented, leave voters had now changed their minds and therefore there should be another’s Peoples Vote. The later, in fact, implying that the 2016 Referendum was not a people’s vote.
All of the above could be said of General Elections, but there is never such a campaign to overthrow General Election results.
However, with the winning margin being so small, although there have been winning margins as small, if not smaller in General Election, it could be said that the winning vote may not have been definitive, as the remainers do claim, but if they are correct then the results of General Elections should also be declared invalid.
Labour are now campaigning as are many remainers for a’People’s Vote. but should they not be saying another ‘People’s Vote’ for are not all votes a ‘People’s Vote’, for if they are not, who then is voting, are they not people?
These are purely ‘sound bites’ to emphasise their cause, for they do not want a people’s vote, but a vote that they agree with, a vote to remain in the EU.
However, as I have already said, the People’s Vote. on this question has already been done, the 2016 Referendum. If it is deemed that another referendum is required, which I do not agree with, then the only questions to vote on should be on how we leave the EU, of which, ‘No Deal has to be one option and in effect the nearest option to the 2016 referendum, which stipulated that a vote to leave would mean ‘No Customs Union’ and ‘No Single Market’.
As the elected representatives, MPs, are to some extent not proceeding on how their constituents voted in 2016, in which case any constituency that voted to leave, then their MPs should be conducting themselves likewise and then the same for MPs of constituencies that voted to remain.
Do we need a revision of the voting system?
Whereby in every aspect the MP of any constituency has to vote in accordance with the majority of all of their constituents, whether they voted for the MP or not, for a MP is the representative for all the constituents, not just those that voted from them.
It also beggars the question, that in General Elections can both the Party and the Candidate be mentioned on the ballot paper. surely it should be only one and then the people would be clear who or what they are voting for, either a Party or a Person, for you can not have both.
Should it be a Party then the MPs always for as the Party wishes irrespective of what their constituents wish, or if a named MP, then the MP should always vote how their constituents wish irrespective of how their Party wishes.
No matter what our current system of voting and the conduct of elected representatives is a shambles and drastic changes are in need of being required.