Sunday, 10 May 2009

Trust in politics

When an MP decides to leave a party and join another one, they are generally seen as courageous individuals unless you support the party they left. It does take courage to go against your beliefs, or at least the beliefs that you said you had.

The European elections are coming up on June 4th in this country. Other countries don't vote on Thursdays so people will still be voting on June 7th. In Morecambe we will vote for North West MEPs but this vote is different because it is not first past the post. This time we have proportional representation. There are 9 MEPs so the party with the highest number of votes gets the first MEP, and the second highest gets the second. This continues until the party with the highest number of votes is again the highest. If you are the first name on the party list then you know that you are an MP almost immediately. The people who have to wait are those who are the 8th and 9th to be elected. In the last election the last to be elected was a Liberal Democrat who just beat the BNP. He was proud to have done this.

In 2009 we have one less seat, so this time we will have 8 MEPs, but this Liberal Democrat will not lose his seat because he decided to become a Tory, the week after he found out he had come second on the party list. Now I didn't think the Tories and the Liberal Democrats were very close on Europe, but the timing of his departure reminds me of MPs expenses. It may be within guidelines but does it do anything for politics when politicians look towards their self-interest in claiming expenses or changing parties to keep hold of their seat?

Change the world

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