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Financial Overkill

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The almost certain victory in the referendum of Conservative self-interest through financial overkill should not be the end of the matter. The retention of First Past the Post has been won by rich men spending deep, as they spent deep at the last election. Why should they be allowed to? Why should the party of the right go into every election with an advantage that means it wins every time unless it’s massively unpopular? The response is simple: a hard, low limit on what may be spent by private individuals and corporations in respect of all votes, electoral or consultative. Avoidance would be pre-empted by very heavy fines for all attempts to subscribe through nominees, individual or corporate. Preventing elections from being bought would make far more difference than changing the voting system. The power of money is the elephant in the room, a golden elephant ridden by corporate mahouts.

Comments on “Financial Overkill”

  1. Michael Taylor says:

    So I voted No, deluded or bought? It seemed to me that the change was footling, so we might as well stick with what we had, to avoid unnecessary disruption. Perhaps the attraction for the other side was its very novelty — let’s throw the whole thing up in the air and see how the pieces fall? Which seems infantile. The claims made for AV were ridiculous — e.g. that our MP would ‘work harder’ for us. But AV would not abolish safe seats. The idea that 50% of the electorate have to have voted for the winner may work for situations where you want the winner to be a consensus figure — Irish president, Labour Party leader — but for a legislature, I wonder if positive democracy (‘vox populi’) is the real point. If it is, then in an electronic age, why not dispense with representative democracy and decide everything by popular referendum? It seems to me (possibly a heretical view) that the real point of our system is negative — to be able to vote people out when they displease us, as a brake upon high-handed and unpopular policies. As easy under FPTP as AV, perhaps slightly easier?

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