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 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Scottish independence referendum: Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Frightened Rabbit to play in support of Yes campaign
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson-fronted Marvel superhero movie
Downton Abbey series 5 start date revealed: ITV drama to return in late September
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Olivia Colman and Mary Berry top Radio Times' female power list
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain