Thursday, 4 June 2009

Polling Day - Please Vote

Today is polling day for the European elections and also the Lancashire County Council. In Morecambe we are also holding an election for the Morecambe Parish Council. Will you be voting? I have put out a couple of leaflets to encourage people to vote, specifically to vote for me. I hope I win but I also hope that the turnout is greater where I am standing.

Why don't people vote? Is it because they believe that their vote doesn't count? Well every vote gets counted but it is very rare to hear about an election won by one vote. Is it because of the recent MPs' expenses scandal? Well this wouldn't explain the definite downward trend in voting but it certainly will not help voter apathy.

I believe that voter apathy is due to many factors but primarily it is because of our first-past-the-post system, which means the vast majority of the electorate don't get the person they want. The advantage to the present system is that there is a constituency link between MP and electorate. To my mind the vast majority don't want that link, and the small minority who do want it could contact their MP by phone or letter or email even if the constituency was a lot bigger. The Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies represents the whole of the North West. To my knowledge he has been in Morecambe twice in the last month. Larger constituencies are not a barrier to links with an MP.

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