Letter: Vote for parties
Tuesday 22 June 1999
The vast majority of citizens have neither the time nor the inclination to investigate the credentials of a wide range of unknown individual candidates. Meaningful democracy must be based on a choice between political parties. We all know that the electorate votes for political parties rather than local candidates. It might not be what activists (and writers of letters to editors) want. But democracy is all about the electorate getting what they want, not what activists think they ought to want.
However, a choice between a small number of parties, each of which is trying to encompass diverse points of view, it is a recipe for the worst kind of tribalism, based on allegiance to party before principle.
With an electoral process based on truly proportional representation, there would be electoral advantage for the Labour Party to split along old/new lines, and for the Conservative Party to split along pro-/anti- Europe lines. Thus we would expect to see a larger number of less powerful parties, each with a clearly focused and differentiated package based on fundamental values.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Glastonbury 2015: Coldplay will not headline but Florence Welch might play, says Emily Eavis
Kurt Cobain's life and death: Montage of Heck film uses unseen footage to tell Nirvana frontman's story
Mal Peet dead at 67: Tributes to children's author who was 'universally adored'
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Drugs Live: Twitter responds to Jon Snow and Jennie Bond smoking cannabis
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin