“democracy” in the UK
Our national election is the only one which gets hyped by the media.
The media go fucking crazy for our general elections, but not any others.
And what happens at general elections?
We vote for local representatives to parliament, and informally a national government is created.
But that’s weird, isn’t it?
Because our general election is touted as our vote for the executive branch of government, but we’re actually just voting for our representative branch, just like all other elections.
So, what’s happening?
Well, the executive branch isn’t formally elected, but we live in a perceived modern democracy so they have to be perceived to be elected.
They can’t be, because we have no formal separation of powers, so we have to dupe people into believing this election is the big one where YOU elect the government (*cough cough* no you don’t, you elect your local representative and the non-constitutional party system conflates that with electing the executive branch by informalising the electoral process and taking the power away from your representatives who you did vote for and giving it to the executive who you haven’t voted for – THIS IS THE POINT: your representative power is non-constitutionally given away to the executive branch. Want to prove me wrong? Who did you vote for at the last election? Every one of you will respond with a party, and not your MP’s name. My case in point).
It’s a power grab by the executive over the representative.
It’s why party whips exist, let alone have so much power.
“Oh, this policy adversely affects your constituents? Well fuck you, you’re on our party ticket so you have to vote with us.”
There’s a reason general elections get the highest turnout, and it has nothing to do with democracy.
It has everything to do with subverting it in order to ensure the representative branches of government are always subservient to the executive branch.
And why is that?
When we became a constitutional monarchy, did you really believe it was anything to do with allowing the people to have a say in politics.
“Reform that we may preserve” – Thomas Babbington Macaulay.
It’s the mantra of the conservatives at their birth in the 19th century, facing calls for democratic reforms that would look trivial today – this was before women got to vote by almost a hundred years!
Give a little, in order to conserve the power structure.
Why was this the case?
It was necessary to pass some limited reform in order to exclude the working classes from the constitution.
The sad thing is that we haven’t moved on democratically much from that moment, except the chartist movement and the 1911 parliament act.
*Elections and electoral reform in the uk are not – and never have been – about giving power to the people. It’s always been about preserving the power structures that already exist. Why do you think we still have an aristocracy and monarchy?*
So…. why do all elections get less turnout than general elections?
Because our executive branch desires that and the media enforce it.
We preserve our power structures. We don’t dismantle them on the flimsy whim that the people who are governed should have a real say in how they are governed.