LETTER: Suggestions for electoral system

Winston Churchill once stated 'it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time'.

Friday, 16th June 2017, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:49 pm

So in the wake of half truths and promises, I submit that the time has come to look at our system of elections, and consider whether some changes should be introduced.

1. Should the qualifying age for electors be reduced to 16? A great many of our youngsters are these days so worldly wise, and outstrip many adults in their grasp of political knowledge and independence of thought. They are the future of this great nation and should have a greater say in their future.

2. Why the heck do we have to vote on a Thursday? The mid working week may be nice for us retired oldies, but what about the vast busy workers who very often find it difficult for various reasons to get to the polling stations. Yes there are proxy votes and postal votes, that still does not answer the question – ‘Why Thursdays?’

3. Why only one polling day? Many other democracies spread their polling days over two or more days, how convenient it would be for the electors to pick the day they vote, it could become a family get together day as they assemble to go to the polls.

4. Now we come to the current system of electing by the first past the post method (FPTP). When the Second World War concluded, proportional representation (PR) was imposed on Germany, indeed this is the method by which many democracies are governed and of course used by us to elect our representatives to the EU.

Neither the Conservatives or the Labour parties favour PR, they prefer to squeeze out all other points of view and leave the field open to just their two heavyweight political parties. It is a ridiculous situation when the Green Party scores over a million votes it only succeeds in getting one seat. It is time that the archaic FPTP was ditched into the bin of history.

5. Chichester Parliamentary Constituency returned the Conservative Gillian Keegan with 60 per cent of the votes cast – so four in 10 voters did not vote Conservative!

What does make it even more questionable is that only 70 per cent of eligible voters bothered to vote.

So I wish good luck to new MP Gillian Keegan for the future – but please remember us Sussex folk.