This week I have been thinking about the illusion of choice. What happens when we don’t pick the right choice according to the authorities that be. And what happens when we are not fully informed before we make the choice.
The wrong choice in the wrong place
Yesterday I was reading about the voter apathy in Egypt. This is because the last election results were not acceptable to the vast majority of the world. The party that won, as far as I am aware, ruled for only a short time and they have now been blacklisted, aka, they are no longer allowed to stand for election.
Now I am no authority on this, as I haven’t read deeply enough, I don’t live there, and all I have at my disposal is the propaganda pumped out to me by the media, so I will decline to comment on the intricacies. But it does seem strange that even when a party plays by the rules of democracy, if the voters make the vote to call them into power, then it is still unacceptable.
I find it even more weird because far right parties have been winning across Europe with little intervention from the rest of the world. I mean how about this for extremist views, you can wear a balaclava and not a hijab in Ticino, Switzerland…but no problem; I guess it depends what type of extremist you are to determine if the voter’s choice is valid or not.
Even in the UK, the choice that we get to vote for a member of parliament seems like a farce. The theory is that the member gets picked by us and through some convoluted first past the post voting system (which I am not not in favour of but which doesn’t make it fair) they sit as our representatives, right?
Nope, they sit in parliament as members of the party first, themselves second and us third. We are just the gumps who voted for them to be there.
And let us not forget that when there is a chance for democracy to be had, this is always treated with shame. Like if someone proposes a bill and it is voted down, it is egg on the face for them. But it should be like this: ok, why did this get voted down, let’s talk to the people, let’s see how we can get this looking like something more in line with what our members think and let’s work together to get the best possible solution. Not: lets bully our members and try and convince a few more to get this bill as it stands through.
I mean, I am not advocating endless referendums to ensure that the people are heard, but surely the whole point in having one person sent forth to represent the views of the people in a set area is for that person first and foremost to do just that?
But I know that most MPs will not risk the chance of promotion and favour. Which stops them from being free and reduces those on the front benches to people who have had no major disagreements with their leader.
And to think they say that it is undemocratic to have an unelected second chamber. Like us voting every four years will make a difference between good law and bad. At present the Lords seem to be the ones ensuring our voices are heard.
I end as I begin, have we really got a choice? Or do we have a smoke screen called choice that we hold up anytime someone questions the decisions made on our behalf?