Thursday, June 23, 2016

One Person, One Vote?

Today the UK held a referendum on whether to remain in the EU or leave. There's an awful lot that could be said and written about this issue and the referendum campaigns, though I haven't felt the need to comment because of so many others already doing so.

As I tune in to follow the results, however, I was struck by this explanation on the BBC:

"Although the results are declared by local authority area, a referendum is different to a general election in that every individual vote across the UK counts equally towards the final result."

This does acknowledge, in passing, that this is not true in General Elections - so much, perhaps, for the argument that a vote to leave is a vote for democracy...

Saturday, June 18, 2016

MPs as Trustees

One topic covered in my u/g Democratic Theory module is the nature of representation, starting with the delegate vs. trustee argument. At least since Burke, it's been argued that MPs should exercise their own judgement, rather than simply being a voice for whatever their constituents want. But delegates are also representatives. A point seemingly missed here, when it says: "Members of Parliament are representatives, not delegates, the difference being they are there to decide what in their judgment is good for us and the country, not  simply to do what we say."