Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Empty polling stations – are we still living in a democracy?


HOW many voters does it take to elect a politician? After Thursday’s local elections, it has become the norm for a local politician to be elected by less than a quarter of the electorate – sometimes as few as a tenth. Can we still call this representative democracy?

Results so far indicate that turnout, at about 32 per cent, was no better than in the last local elections, which were conducted during the Covid-19 hysteria. Here is one council election result, typifying the problem:

Southway (Plymouth):   

Labour: 45.0% (+7.4)

Conservative: 29.2% (-11.5)

Turnout: 29.9% (-4.6)

This was not a close contest, but the drop in turnout meant that the winner needed hardly any more votes than the candidate who got second place in the previous election.  Merely 14 per cent of the electorate voted for the triumphant councillor. 

In Coventry, a city held by Labour, the limited interest in the election was shown by a decline in voting from 28 per cent last time to 26.46 per cent. In Hull, turnout was a derisory 22.01 per cent. In some town and county council seats, fewer than a fifth of residents bothered to vote, either at the polling booth or by post.

Why did so few citizens bother to vote on how they are served and taxed? Undoubtedly, there is palpable despair with mainstream political parties, and distrust has become more pervasive due to the Covid-19 regime, Net Zero scam, uncontrolled mass immigration, transgenderism and other policies that are imposed whichever party is in power, and whatever promises were made by manifesto.

Having witnessed the behaviour of almost every elected politician in denying Covid-19 vaccine injuries, why vote at all? The danger is that this is the desired outcome of the establishment. An insightful point was made on Twitter by Marl Karx:  (2) Marl Karx (@BareLeft) / Twitter

‘Turnout down even on 2021. Champagne corks popping at the HQs of all major political parties as they’ve achieved their longstanding goal of making sure absolutely nobody has faith in electoral politics anymore.’

I was pleased to see my friend David Kurten in TCW on the day of the local elections. Like many TCW readers I concur with the Heritage Party’s genuinely social conservative manifesto. But the mountain for new parties to climb is too steep. They get no publicity, unless they seem to be gaining traction, when they will be smeared as ‘far right’ extremists. Even getting leaflets through doors is a challenge for minor parties – and that’s the only way of getting known at all. 

Predictably, the new and unnecessary requirement for photo identity at polling stations is being blamed for the low turnout. The identity checks do not apply to postal votes, which are the main source of electoral fraud. So is this a sledgehammer to crack a nut? I suspect it is more sinister than that. In a recent TCW article I warned of this development as another step towards digital identity. Anyone who does not have valid identification was invited to apply for a voter authority certificate online. According to the Good Law Project, which is mounting a legal challenge to the government prior to the next general election, merely 4 per cent of the estimated 2.1million people lacking the required forms of identity sought such certification.  

I went to my polling station not to vote but to be prevented from doing so. Having shown my polling card I was allowed in, and at the desk a woman checked my post code and then asked the killer question: ‘Can I see your identification?’ I calmly explained that this has never been demanded before, and that I would not need to show a passport to vote by post. I suggested that this would prevent many older people from voting. The official and her two colleagues appeared to sympathise, but of course they don’t make the rules.  

The unrewarded winner on Thursday was the Abstain Party, with 68 per cent of the overall constituency in contested councils. In some places they got over 80 per cent. Truly, there is something badly wrong with our democracy. 

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