Thursday, December 09, 2010

"Jesus would vote Yes 2 AV"

That’s the only conclusion to be drawn from the article by Jonathan Bartley of the think-tank meditation-cistern Ekklesia.

If the nation rejects AV and votes to retain First-Past-The-Post, Mr Bartley prophesies the burning of churches (seriously), the moon will turn red, pregnant women will be in distress, nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

At that time we will see Jonathan Bartley coming in a cloud with a ballot paper. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

AV, he avers, is the once-in-a-generation opportunity for the Church ‘to atone for its sins’.

So, if you’re feeling a bit remorseful about the Crusades, racked with guilt over the Inquisition, tormented for burning a few heretics or buggering a few choirboys, vote for AV and you’ll be square with God.

It is the ultimate good deed: no need for cultic rituals of bloody sacrifice. Just vote AV and your conscience will be purified to approach God with a full assurance of faith and a clean heart. The old things have passed away: forget the blood of the lamb; you are redeemed by the ballot box; purified by plebiscite; sanctified with the casting of a vote. The cross of Calvary is as nothing compared to the cross you can place against ‘Yes’ to AV.

The particular atonement Jonathan Bartley has in mind is the church’s historic opposition to the Suffragettes a century ago. He muses: ‘The episcopal purple should not be of a notably different hue from that worn either by today’s campaigners, or the women pioneers of the early 20th century.’

Perhaps if this had been iambic, His Grace would have some idea of Mr Bartley is talking about.

And it is difficult to grasp Mr Bartley’s point about the sin of a few bishops and vicars desiring to withhold votes from women while their successors desire to prevent them entering the Episcopate.

Yet he asserts: ‘There is a strong theological and ethical rationale for voting for reform. The Christian bias toward the vulnerable, the powerless, and the voiceless sits uneasily with a first-past-the-post system that favours the powerful and the vocal.’

Difficult one, that.

Democracy is nowhere in the Bible, though Mr Bartley doubtless knows this and is referring to the scriptural principles which underlie the democratic structure: liberty, accountability and equality.

Just as Moses led the Israelites from slavery to freedom, Jonathan Bartley sees AV as a kind of liberation theology. While St Paul emphasised the liberty that comes with a new life in Christ, Mr Bartley sees the Yes2AV campaign as a work of the Holy Spirit. The gospel of Jesus Christ levels Jew and Greek, male and female, high and low, rich and poor: Jonathan Bartley believes AV to be the outworking of a Lucan privilege to the poor.

Apparently, the stench of FPTP which so offends the nostrils of God is this:

As things stand, one rich donor can potentially fund a change of government by resourcing 100 or so candidates in a handful of marginal seats. And the existing system perpetuates unaccountability and inequality in other ways, too. In some constituencies, many votes are effectively wasted where there is no hope of unseating an MP. Many votes count for nothing with MPs elected on just 30% of the votes cast.
He explains:

There was a clear correlation between the safety of seats and involvement in the scandal over MP’s expenses. Many safe Labour seats, too, have seen turnouts diminish over decades, while levels of joblessness have risen, as successive Governments ignore their plight.
Both of these points may have merit, and the Lord may undoubtedly affirm Mr Bartley’s discernment.

But He may also ask precisely how AV resolves these issues.

He might point out to Mr Bartley that the whole AV agenda is a diversion and a deflection from the real crises facing democracy: no party advocated it in their manifesto, and the people are being given a referendum they have never requested.

There are many flaws in FPTP, but at least you only get one vote to expend upon one candidate, and you can be sure that the winning candidate received more votes than any other candidate; that is to say, the winning candidate is sure to be the most popular of all the candidates.

The Lord does not mind winners and losers: FPTP is a little better than drawing straws (Acts 1:21-26).

With AV, what you get is the least unpopular candidate, as seen in Labour’s leadership election. MPs were for David Miliband first and placed Ed second or third; Labour Party members were for David Miliband first and placed Ed third or fourth. But the Unions were for Ed Miliband first, so Ed won.

That wasn’t an election for the best: it was a raffle for the least worst.

Would the Lord support an electoral system which supplants the most popular with the least worst?

Jesus was a religio-political rebel; he didn’t toe the line with the Pharisees or Saducees, and neither did he pander to the Romans. He dined with tax collectors and welcomed prostitutes. He rendered unto Caesar that which belonged to Caesar: no more, nor less.

Parliament needs eccentrics, rebels, principled recalcitrants and independent minds.

Yet AV will exclude them.

It is interesting to note that in the London mayoral elections, voters prefer individualists to party loyalists. They like originality and conviction rather than bland centrism.

While the existing selection system for candidates often denies them that choice, the chief effect of AV would be to push parties further into the middle ground, making them even more like one another and even less like the electorate they purport to represent. Under AV, you get elected not by being the most popular choice, but by attracting the most second and third preferences.

Mr Bartley’s theology might incline him to prefer an eternity of Heaths and Majors, but His Grace prefers and the nation needs the occasional Churchill and Thatcher.

The Lord was more Whig than Tory: He’s more of a Douglas Carswell or Daniel Hannan than a Chris Patten or a John Gummer.

Jesus was a reformer who said narrow is the way, but AV is predicated upon broad appeal. Candidates will need to stand for nothing so strongly that they might offend their potential second and third preference voters. This will not improve the calibre of parliamentarian: on the contrary, what Mr Bartley advocates will lead to perpetual, immovable and immutable mediocrity.

Jesus Himself would be unlikely to win under AV. And if the Lord would not be elected, how many Christians might be elected to Westminster under the system? Could they ever talk about something as divisive as religion? Have a stance on abortion? Support faith schools? Utter a word on ‘gay rights’? Venture an opinion on religious liberty?

No, on all of these ‘extremist’, ‘eccentric’ and ‘minority’ issues they would need to be mute, for fear of offending their potential ‘moderate’ and ‘reasonable’ supporters.

There’s not much opportunity to let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ with AV: vibrant and combative election debate will be smothered beneath a duvet of maybes, possiblies and other expressions of vague potentiality.

Yet Mr Bartley insists that AV is fairer because it empowers the weakest.

This is the eternal cry of the LibDem.

But if you vote for one of the two most popular parties you only get to vote once. If you vote for a party that cannot win you effectively vote twice, as your second preference then helps decide which of the front runners has won. Why is this fairer, Mr Bartley?

How is it ‘fair’ that, under AV, our three-party state takes the decision of who forms the Government away from the voters and places it in the hands of the third party – the Liberal Democrats? As John Redwood observed, it’s like getting chips with every meal. He said: “If I go to the races, I expect the horse that comes first to be the winner. I do not expect the judges to say that as the first and second were close they will ask the losers who they would like to win. Nor do we say that as it was close the first and second place have to run it again without the others to see if one is faster without the others getting in the way.”

Why would the Lord support such a system?

FPTP is one person one vote: it is simple, straightforward and comprehensible. AV is Complicated. Granted, not as complicated as some PR systems, but FPTP and PR can both be defended in simple language. His Grace has yet to hear anyone make a simple, concise, comprehensible case for AV. And he begs you not to dismiss this point. We are politicos; we bother to read newspapers, watch Question Time and pore over blogs because we enjoy politics, engage and understand.

But we are the minority: there are millions out there for whom putting a tick in a box really is the extent of their political engagement.

Ask them to rank candidates, number them, vote for parties and individuals, and you end up potentially with what happened in the 2007 elections to the Scottish Parliament: more than 100,000 votes were discounted as rejected ballot papers, so five per cent of voters were disenfranchised. Their votes are in the bin. In Glasgow Shettleston alone there were 2,035 spoiled ballots and most constituencies saw at least 1,000 papers rejected. In some areas, the rejected votes outnumbered the winners' majority.

Would the Lord support such darkness on the face of the deep?

But Mr Bartley is persuaded that AV is a step in the right direction: it is ‘modernisation’.

This is a New Labour cry.

To them, FPTP is a curios relic. Yet it is still used by much of the English speaking world, and they use it because it produces strong government. FPTP, like Habeas Corpus and Trial by Jury, happens to be one of our most successful exports, used by many countries across the globe.

By contrast, the number of countries that use AV to choose their elected representatives now stands at a very impressive three: Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Australia. The latter recently saw a political party that polled fewer votes than its rival bargain its way back into office. And Fiji is about to ditch AV.

If AV is such a righteous and moral system, why is not widely used across the whole of Christendom?

AV will not address ‘political disenchantment’. It does not solve the problem of ‘safe seats’ which reduce an election to a tiny number of swing voters in key marginals which leads to low voter turnout.

Mr Bartley is right about there being a disconnect between Parliament and people. But that is not because of FPTP: it is because of a centralised system of policy formulation and the power of the Whips to ensure legislation is then passed.

As a consequence, entire streams of often very popular opinion are excluded from the legislature. For example, 55 per cent of voters say they want to leave the EU, but just two-and-a-half per cent of MPs agree; and many Conservatives would like to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, but the Party has decided not to. Essentially, MPs have more in common with each other than with the people they are supposed to represent.

AV is no cure for this. It does not improve or increase accountability.

In 1998 the Jenkins Commission looked into the merits of PR. His Grace is struck by his scathing comments on AV:

AV on its own suffers from a stark objection. It offers little prospect of a move towards greater proportionality, and in some circumstances… it is even less proportional that FPTP.
Is Lord Jenkins wrong, Mr Bartley?

FPTP may be unfair because it throws up disproportionate majorities and excludes small parties, ie it isn’t proportionate. But AV can also lead to freak results whereby the party with the greatest number of votes do not win the greatest number of seats: the dream of PR is not realised by this reform.

Before the last general election, Nick Clegg attacked AV as ‘a wretched little compromise.’

Yet now he supports it.

Would the Lord condone such capriciousness?

AV is an odious coalition compromise, achieved quite literally in smoke-filled rooms (Mr Clegg is partial to the taste of nicotine) and smacks of precisely the sort of grubby little backroom deal that Mr Bartley (and the Lord) might find antithetical to notions of truth, justice, integrity and accountability.

Churchill once denounced democracy, but he said it was undeniably better than all the alternatives which have been tried from time to time.

FPTP can be criticised, but it is without doubt the least worst option; the lesser evil.

A referendum on STV would be a referendum worth having. No such case can be made for Alternative Vote. AV would wipe away most of the advantages of the existing system while retaining all its flaws. It is neither simple nor proportional nor fair. Far from making Parliament more representative, it will make MPs less diverse. The fact that many MPs are a caste apart, having more in common with one another than with their constituents, would be amplified, so the powerful would be further empowered and the weakest made even weaker.

AV allows democracy, as Winston Churchill put it in 1931 ‘to be determined by the most worthless votes given for the most worthless candidates’.

AV is not, as Mr Bartley avers, ‘a step in the right direction’: the church would not atone for its sins by supporting such a system; it would compound them.

His Grace urges a No2AV.

And, Mr Bartley, His Grace has no wealth, no status, and no ‘vested interest’.

He would simply like to point out that there is nothing in the Bible or Church tradition that would support the claim that God is behind the Yes2AV campaign in a unique way, or that by voting ‘Yes’ we may atone for our sins.

And as for the absurd scaremongering that a ‘No’ on 5th May 2011 will result in people setting fire to churches, His Grace will leave his intelligent and discerning readers and communicants to make of that what they will.


Anonymous Jonathan Bartley said...

As usual a complete misrepresentation of what someone has actually written, but made me chuckle nevertheless. Keep them coming!

9 December 2010 at 08:28  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Bartley,

'As ususal'?

Could you perhaps support that allegation with empirical evidence?

And instead of simply dismissing the post in its entirety, would you perhaps consider engaging with the issues raised?

His Grace sincerely wishes to know how voting Yes2AV atones in any sense for the sins of the church.

9 December 2010 at 08:37  
Anonymous Tony B said...

FPTP is evil. We have an adversarial system, of government and opposition, where one party can get into power and institute a program of "change" that has no merit other than being different to the program put in place by the adversary. If they did this, we must do that, whether it's good for the nation as a whole or not. This is why British politics constantly obsesses over the same issues that are never solved - because no one actually wants to do what works, they just want to do something different to what the other chap did. It's very telling that Cameron and Clegg have said they want to put in place a program that "puts aside party differences and works for the good of the nation" - isn't that an admission that the reverse of this is the norm?

9 December 2010 at 09:07  
Anonymous +Dewi Menevia said...

This post is a stunning tour de force, Your Grace.

Our Lord seeks justice and righteousness on earth as it is in heaven, but the plans of the heathen Clegg merely concentrate power in the hands of the (LibDem)party political elite.

The people of Wales are grateful to their English brother for highlighting the folly of AV. Let's talk FPTP v. STV, but AV is a greater evil.

9 December 2010 at 09:15  
Blogger Gnostic said...

I'll be voting no. FPTP isn't wonderful but AV will be worse. We've already something like it in action when the Labour party's choice of leader was steamrollered by the union vote who only have their interests at heart. I would like to see a change to the ballot papers though. Apart from the "yes" and "no" tick boxes I'd like to see a bonus box - one that bears the legend; This isn't the referendum we asked for so f*** off!

9 December 2010 at 09:26  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

Personally I support the multiple vote system as proposed by Nevil Shute in his novel "In the Wet", where you got extra votes for various achievements in life. I'm sure that this approach would be looked on favourably from above as achievement in life is surely a very Christian concept.

9 December 2010 at 09:52  
Blogger Ingenieur said...

The discussion AV vs.FPTP is terminably boring. It it were a football match it couldn't draw a big enough crowd to fill a taxicab.

We are only faced with it as it was one of the pathetic prices CMD was prepared to pay to the LibDims for a taste of power.

Would that Your Grace would devote his prayers and prose to the big issue on which we ALL want to express an opinion - our continued membership of that stinking pit of corruption known as the EU.

9 December 2010 at 10:06  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

I have read Mr Bartley’s article in its entirety. I find his suggestion that those with a ‘liberal bent’ will see ‘issues of justice’ as deeply insulting to readers such as me.

I ask is Mr Bartley daft?

What was morally wrong in opposing the suffragettes?

The ideology of the suffragettes surrenders in the bedroom. It is that obedience and humility before the man that makes it a success.

If hundreds of thousands of voters at the ballot box are unlikely to understand AV and thereby spoil their ballot papers – then it is the system that will have disenfranchised them: the very system that Bartley advocates.

For what reason then would they burn down churches? Why none. It would be Mr Bartley that would be burnt at the stake along with a few vicars and bishops to keep him warm.

If we get AV then the risk of a third party – the tail – will always be ‘wagging the dog’. The disillusionment of voters and their degree of disconnect will be aggravated further.

It is true that democracy is not in the Bible. But the foundations of our democracy began upon the basis of Judaeo-Christian ethics unlike the modern notion of democracy.

The modern notion of democracy supported by the concept of ‘equality’, sees anyone as fit to hold office. The Judaeo-Christian sees that all men are subject to corruption and therefore no one is fit to govern us.

9 December 2010 at 10:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Parliament needs eccentrics, rebels, principled recalcitrants and independent minds.

Yet AV will exclude them."
PR would increase the chance of independent minds - as Geert Wilders, Pym Fortune etc in Holland has shown - neither of whom would have won seats in the UK.

AV is not a prefect system but a step in the right direction.

PR - creating a free market in politics so new parties can start - would be a good idea.

9 December 2010 at 10:17  
Blogger Dogmatix said...

The great beauty of FPTP is that it enables constituents (yes, those to whom an MP is answerable in FPTP) to get rid of a corrupt, dishonest or useless MP.

One vote, one constituency, one MP.

Replace it with party lists, and the party chooses the MP. Disastrous!

9 December 2010 at 10:27  
Blogger Gnostic said...

All this quibbling over voting systems pales into insignificence if the UN manages to pull off the death of democracy as we know it.

And Huhne is just the man to sign us up for the creeping fascism in the name of saving the planet. Have his EU masters given him the mandate to put pen to paper? Enquiring minds would like to know.

9 December 2010 at 10:33  
Anonymous Voyager said...

a bit remorseful about the Crusades

only that they failed to stop the invaders as effectively as the Mongols did.

As for AV. It is a joke. Mitterand changed the electoral system several times in France in order to get a majority for his Socialist coalition.

Voting systems are ridiculous because they imply the voter has influence over the Oligarchy, and nowadays Buying A Politician is more relevant than voting for a Party Pig to tell porkers.

Frankly AV is unworthy of consideration. We want open primaries and to make it ILLEGAL to be a member of a political party which, in the words of Earl Halifax (17th Century) regarded them as "a organised conspiracy against the nation"

They remain gangster organisations hell-bent on operating a protection racket using coercion rather than persuasion

9 December 2010 at 10:54  
Blogger Michael Olivia said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9 December 2010 at 11:09  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace, if Mr Bartley understood AV he would see it as one of a number of potential constitutional changes rather than a single, constitutional, silver bullet.

For example in Australia, AV operates in tandem with compulsory voting. Why isn't this being proposed simultaneously with AV in the UK? Compulsory voting (you get fined if you don't vote) shifts the opportunity for true dissenters from failing to vote at all to deliberately spoiling their ballot papers, and it happens. So AV by itself in the UK is not going to lead to democratic revival. In fact introducing AV without any structural constitutional reform is merely treating the symptom and not the disease.

May your communicant be so bold as to suggest that what is really needed in the UK is an end to the iniquitous gerrymander. This is the most simple and effective constitytional reform of many, many more that should be introduced. It is grossly unfair that a mendicant crofter in the Western Isles has four times the voting power of a retired bank manager on the Isle of Wight. But that's what happens when an electorate of 25k returns the same number of MPs, ie one, as an electorate of 100k. Before Devolution this inequality could be justified as a sort of electoral Barnett formula. It is impossible to make that case today.

From a Conservative point of view, fixing that injustice is the most important thing to do and could easily render the Coalition redundant. Fortunately for the Lib-Dems, Dave obviously doesn't get it.

9 December 2010 at 11:37  
Blogger steve said...

Your Grace,

How dare the junior coalition party campaign for consensus politics at a time when many of their number are betraying the electorate through breaking the coalition agreement?

9 December 2010 at 11:40  
Blogger Caedmon's Cat said...


You're speaking my language! You are evidently a fellow-traveller..

As for the AV - it's a perfectly good Bible version. Leave it alone, I say. If it was good enough for St Paul, it's good enough for me.. ;-)

9 December 2010 at 11:50  
Anonymous len said...

God`s solution to the ills of mankind are far more radical than 'tinkering' with the voting system.Systems devised and implemented by man are ultimately on a collision course with God.

What God is doing through Jesus Christ is to bring about an end to the old World system and re-build out of the ruins a totally new system a totally new order where all things will be subject to Christ.

9 December 2010 at 12:06  
OpenID scottspeig said...

The best Anti-AV stance I've read so far your grace. I may even go and vote!

9 December 2010 at 12:13  
Anonymous JayBee said...

Electoral reform is a diversion from wider political reality.

It is a pointless exercise.

We are invited to consider a novel arrangement for deckchairs, when the good ship democracy has been holed by a totalitarian iceberg.

There is only one referendum needed.
EU membership – in or out.

9 December 2010 at 12:54  
Blogger Bryan said...

Jesus would say spread the Gospel and votes will take care of themselves.

This is not to say that there is no room for political discourse by churchmen. Fighting, even dare I say, campaigning for justice, common sense, and what-have-you are all part of living out the Gospel. But rather I merely seek to remind that the first things, the important things, should remain such. The state of the souls of the peoples of the UK are not affected directly by FPTP or AV, but FPTP and AV are directly affected by the state of the souls of the voters.

9 December 2010 at 13:14  
Anonymous Tony B said...

>"What God is doing through Jesus Christ is to bring about an end to the old World system and re-build out of the ruins a totally new system a totally new order where all things will be subject to Christ.

Well, why can't he just get on with it?

9 December 2010 at 13:39  
Anonymous Bede said...

There are pros and cons to any voting system. What is iniquitous - whatever the voting system - is that in today's vote on student fees (regardless of your position on this), Scottish and Welsh MPs can vote on a matter applying only to England. But English MPs could not vote on similar legislation in Scotland or Wales.

9 December 2010 at 13:56  
Anonymous Oswin said...

JayBee @12.54

Yet again I applaud your postings!

9 December 2010 at 14:22  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

Len said 9 December 2010 12:06



9 December 2010 at 14:32  
Blogger Manfarang said...

STV elections helps stop burning down churches in Northern Ireland.

9 December 2010 at 14:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems he has actually changed the article in response to your criticism Archbishop.

Very naughty!

9 December 2010 at 14:42  
Anonymous berserker-nkl said...

Why should voters not be differentiated?

Voters should have more than one vote if:

They have contributed to society by leaving money or an income to a charity that does worthwhile work. (2 votes)
They have succeeded in business. (2 votes)
They have produced art (in any shape or form or discipline) that has enhanced peoples lives. (3 votes)
They have saved someone's life. (3 votes)
They have produced children that are an asset to society. (3 votes)

They have actively campaigned against that rotten old EU. (10 votes)
They have campaigned to make all religions a private indulgence. (10 votes)

All right, I joke, but you get my drift.

9 December 2010 at 15:06  
Anonymous six day war said...

Nobody has yet described AV as a 'buggers muddle'; is this term still acceptable in polite circles?

9 December 2010 at 15:31  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

There is hardly any point in voting anyway. All three main parties are almost identical. Tories and Libs are effectively merged. Labour struggles to find any issue of substance on which to differ. Serious proposals are now made that the coalition should remain in being for at least ten more years.

In fact, the main parties, against whom no other currently existing has any chance of forming a government, are huddling so close together on the centre ground that they differ only in their attitude to a small number of managerial problems and solutions.

They are all pro-EU, pro-state health care, pro-state education, anti-selection, anti-captial punishment (indeed, anti-punishment), pro-global warming. They are united in so many respects that their existence represents a real disenfranchisement of the electorate.

If Mr Bartley were really interested in franchisement, he would be inveighing against our current parties rather than supporting a system which will inevitably increase their hegemony.

All this 'church' business and 'atoning for guilt' (Mr Bartley should know that atonement is hardly an appropriate term in this context) is empty rhetoric, disguising the fact that he just wants AV to suit his liberal convictions.

9 December 2010 at 16:22  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I think your grace has manged to make perhaps one the best political contributions in 2010 for describing AV as a "raffle" , is the word I wish I had sought much earlier .

9 December 2010 at 18:39  
Blogger Dave said...

A good post your Grace, and I agree with every word you wrote.
Mr Bartley may indeed be a resident of Barking, but alas, he may not be alone.

Someone showed this to me today. Unfortunately I can't access the actual article

Yes I know it's the AOG, but can they really think that Cowell's leadership style is one to be admired?
Cowell, who's programmes are designed to push his profile, to make him richer and more famous?

"A Christian magazine has compared Simon Cowell's straight-talking style to that of a modern-day Jesus.

Evangelical magazine Re, the journal for the Assemblies of God church, even puts the messianic music mogul on the cover.

“Jesus, the one we think of as being meek and mild, gentle and loving and full of compassion, had the ability to talk tough,” says the article.

“For some his words were upsetting and difficult to swallow - just like Cowell's - but he spoke truth and doesn't the truth hurt sometimes?

“Simon Cowell takes, learns from them and grows in the process, and there are numerous stories in the Bible of people who do the same.”

They also compare the SyCo boss to Abraham and the prophet Elijah."

They are taking the mickey aren't they?
Aren't they?

9 December 2010 at 20:54  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Were av truly in the interests of the indigenous people,the political scum would not be considering it,as above there is only one referendum that we require,and that is the right to decide OUR OWN future with out interference from the communist filth that comprises "our" parliament.

10 December 2010 at 07:18  
Blogger Anthony Smith said...

AV is evil because it is simultaneously too proportional and not proportional enough. Sigh.

And in what form of the English language does "most popular" not have precisely the same meaning as "least unpopular"?

10 December 2010 at 09:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If the nation rejects AV and votes to retain First-Past-The-Post, Mr Bartley prophesies the burning of churches"

surly any of us could predict the burning of churches but its got nothing to do with AV, its our inability to contain and turn back the islamic breeding program that our governments have encouraged.

10 December 2010 at 15:10  
Anonymous UK Fred said...

Surely the only change required in the voting system is to have another box on all ballot papers which allows one to vote for "None of the Candidates is worthy of election" and every candidate who polls fewer votes than this "hurdle" be prohibited for standing for election or appointment to a public post for the term of the election that he or she had sought. This should have the effect of (1) ensuring that those in office were more concerned about their constituents han their expenses, and (2)thus improving the service we receive from our elected representatives.

12 December 2010 at 11:24  

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