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Reform Magazine | June 24, 2017

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How to vote

How to vote

Well, you put an X in the box. But Nick Spencer believes you 
can make more of your say in the 2015 election

Like a sleep-deprived asthmatic at the starting line, the 2015 general election campaign looks and feels exhausted before the gun has officially been fired. It is hard to find many people on the late night Clapham Omnibus who are anxiously awaiting the next morning’s electoral stories. It’ll be harder still in May.

There is an irony in the fact that at least some of the blame for this unprecedently early electoral exhaustion is down to the innovation of fixed-term parliaments. Modern, rational, sensible, the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (2011) was intended to end the seemingly unfair and archaic practice of the sitting government effectively deciding to dissolve parliament and call an election whenever it found conditions most propitious. The new arrangement should have addressed one reason for public cynicism. If it has, no one appears to have told the public.

This dark little pool of irony floats atop a much bigger one: The British honour democracy as a god. One of the few things our politicians could do to make themselves less popular with the electorate – short of opening parliamentary proceedings each day by ritually biting the head off a kitten – would be to suggest curtailing the breadth or scope of our democracy. There would be riots. And yet, as…

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This is an extract from the April 2015 edition of Reform.

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