Friday, June 09, 2017

Voting matters and FPP sucks

The UK election result is firming up, and its now looking like a progressive coalition government is impossible. Instead, a shrunken conservative party will be forced into coalition with the Northern Irish bigots. Which sounds bad, but given the way UK politics works, they won't be able to do anything. The austerity government has been crippled, while the "unelectable" Jeremy Corbyn has (according to the Guardian's results) won 12.1 million votes - nearly half a million more than Tony Blair did in 2001.

The reason for this success? Young people voted. They looked at a government which wanted to sell out their future for the benefit of rich, said "fuck that", and marched to the ballot box. While it hasn't turfed the Tories out, it has absolutely crippled them.

The message is clear: voting matters. And that's a lesson people in New Zealand should take to heart. Here, we have a government intent on selling out the young for the benefit of greedy Boomers: on housing, on climate change, on superannuation (where young people will be shafted while the old will be protected). If you don't like this, and want to do something about it, then enrol to vote.

The other clear message is that FPP sucks. Only half a million votes - 2% of the total - separates the two parties. But under the UK's unfair electoral system, that turns into 60 seats and the difference between government and opposition. If the UK had a fair electoral system, they'd be looking at a Labour - LibDem coalition, possibly with SNP support on confidence and supply depending on where the threshold kicked in. Instead, they have yet another government without majority support. Though at least this time its a weak one, rather than having a manufactured majority. The UK needs proportional representation. And until it gets it, we shouldn't call it a democracy.