Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Reader’s comment: Study the Swiss


In response to Michael St George: After Brexit, we must reform our democracy, David wrote:
We do indeed need electoral reform. For whilst I am a strong admirer of Burke’s ideas we, as he said, must adopt the principles of conservatism to the realities of our age. During Burke’s time few could read and far fewer had any idea as to what was happening elsewhere. Now we have the web and all sorts of ways of critiquing the world around us, including the prognostications of our so-called political leaders.

Before we embark upon over-hasty changes to our voting arrangements we need to study very carefully how other successful countries have done this. But I’d conjecture that, as the elites’ love of power is a universal human fault, there may be few country-scale examples of better practice than ours. Therefore I strongly suspect that Switzerland is a good, if not the best, guide to what could be done.

No doubt we’ll hear all the same type of lame, condescending excuses we heard regarding the referendum result, that we should leave all this to our ‘betters’, or that because we are a bigger country than Switzerland a similar system wouldn’t work here. But such pathetic and weak obstructions can, I am sure, be overcome with a mixture of common sense and fair play harnessed to the IT capabilities that society possesses nowadays.

Above all we must not, as a country, relapse into a misplaced, smug reliance on our now seriously outdated system of representative democracy, because the still-continuing struggle for our national freedom has revealed just how unrepresentative our MPs really are of the will of us, the people. Significant reform of our electoral system is now needed.

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