Monday, October 14, 2019

UK Conservatives hate democracy

With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:

The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans to introduce compulsory photo ID for voters were leaked.

Reports that the Queen’s speech contains proposals to make showing ID such as driving licences or passports at the ballot box a requirement have been met anger by campaigners who say the move is a threat to democratic participation.

Ministers were accused of using a “sledgehammer to crack a nut” as the numbers of personation fraud during elections was tiny, critics said. Instead, voters were far more worried about low turnout, questionable donations and foreign interference, it was claimed.

Over 3.5 million UKanians do not have any form of photo ID, and 11 million don't have passports or driver's licences. And naturally, these are concentrated among poorer and browner UKanians - those least likely to vote Tory. So its not just an attack on democracy, its very specifically a US-style attempt to stack the electoral deck for the benefit of the party in power.

On the other hand, does it really matter what is in the government's programme? Its not as if they have a majority for anything any more. But on the gripping hand, it suggests the Tories are becoming increasingly anti-democratic, lusting to return to Jacob Rees-Mogg's C19th "utopia" when only the rich could vote and everyone else's voices were excluded. So they need to be thrown out of power so they remember who is really in charge: the people.