Democracy Made in England

A major report from the Electoral Reform Society

In less frenetic times, this report would have grabbed headlines – but attention has already been cornered by outrageous events in Ukraine.  Those distractions are, no doubt, mightily convenient for the current cabal who pretend to power in Whitehall.

The report should be required reading for all Liberal Democrat candidates for local Elections next May.   There is only one name on the report’s cover – lead author, Michela Palese, Research and Policy Officer, Electoral Reform Society.  At first glance you will see this is not the outpourings of some single tortured soul, but the collective views garnered from a cast of hundreds drawn from across the political spectrum.

There is no doubt that this report is timely as Gove’s Levelling Up White Paper wends its way around Westminster – not only failing to tackle underlying democratic deficiencies but making them worse.   The hearing-impaired government of the most over-centralised state in Europe cannot even attend to the pleas of those who voted for them.

Michela’s report has two broad thrusts – the need for a resettlement of local citizen engagement and the now urgent need for voting reform with proportional representation. For both, the focus is squarely on the most locally abused – the citizenry of England.

“As we saw during the pandemic, it is our local councils that are on the front line of so many of the issues that face our communities – yet, as we’ve found, too often our local representatives find themselves powerless in the face of Westminster’s centralising control.”

My own selected highlight of this report is on page 58 (of 110) where Table 3 shows contrasting representative ratios.  Focus please on the column headed ‘Persons per Councillor’ – a range from 220 (Sweden) to 3,300 (England).

Even Tory Councillors in Fareham are constantly complaining that their hands are tied by Westminster – by the government they as individual Tories urged us to vote for.

There is no substitute for reading this report and arming yourself with the essential reasoning for Proportional Representation and greater municipal autonomy.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.