The constituency and its member

By Jonathan Bartley
February 11, 2010

A short blog, as I am recovering from an arm operation, but just found it rather amusing to hear a bishop appointed to Parliament by an external, undemocratic institution ask a question about the importance of voting in elections.

This from yesterday:

The Lord Bishop of Chichester: Does the Minister accept that the most fundamental need is to restore confidence in the democratic process in this country, which should encourage us to do everything we can to increase the number of people who consider it important that they should exercise their vote at the general election?

Lord Tunnicliffe: My Lords, I agree entirely with the right reverend Prelate. We have looked at research to see whether any of the various voting systems have a significant impact on voter involvement and we do not believe that that feature is significant. However, we believe that it is important to restore confidence and that the alternative vote system will require candidates to reach out to the whole electorate in their campaigning. That will be an important step, but the relationship between the constituency and its Member is the way forward.

I would have thought that in this case it would have been clear that the relationship between the 'member' concerned and his 'constituency' is not the way forward.

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