Monday, May 09, 2005
ELECTORAL REFORM: ELECT THE GOVERNMENT DIRECTLY?
To pick up at yesterday’s post, it might be worth pondering whether we should elect the Government directly. This would entail the instituting of a “presidential” system like France or the US. One of the often-voiced complaints by anti-war Labour candidates was that they were losing votes despite of their personal stance because of their membership in the wrong party. By separating these votes this kind of problem might be solved. Of course in itself this almost throws up more problems than it solves, but it should really be pursued intellectually. That way the inevitable focus by the national media on the party leaders would not be a distortion of the democratic process but an enhancement.
That said this would be one of the most radical changes to British constitution imaginable. The consequences might be equally radical. Political parties might loose their central importance if people were voting for a specific candidate for Prime Minister. This would be further accentuated, if the voting reforms I suggested were also implemented. Could that lead in combination to the end of party politics?
I admit this is all a bit off the wall, but I wonder if we might not one day find we have no alternatives to such changes.