lazy politics

Whilst I’m not as passionate about it as some people or some political parties, I think that the proposed move to AV for UK general elections is probably quite a good idea. I will for the moment ignore the fact that the legislation will reduce Welsh representation in Westminster by 25% and that certain parts of the Bill are not perfect – the level of turnout clause and the sops to the Lib Dems etc etc but I do think that ensuring elected representatives will be elected with at least 50% of the vote is a sensible and proper one.

Just on the Welsh representation I think that one way we could make them more useful in Westminster would be to provide the “second chamber” style scrutiny that will be lacking following the Welsh referendum in March.

However moving on to the issue of AV … One of the things that I am looking forward to in future elections will be the actual battle that should in theory go on in all constituencies – not just in a few key marginals in particular parts of the country.

What I’m really looking forward to is an end to lazy politics, lazy politics and no more safe seats. No more ridiculously large and unassailable majorities and some active and lively local politics. I am a firm believer that majorities that are essentially unchallengable means that the incumbent can afford to be lazy, the local party stagnates and you only see or hear (if you are lucky) from your elected representative around election time. Living as I do in a safe Welsh Labour seat (Assembly and Parliamentary) I rarely hear from my elected representatives let alone see them. At the UK general election I think I had one leaflet from the local party and not even one knock on the door. Now, having moved wards but in the same constituency and in the run-up to the Welsh general election I’ve had one constituency and one regional list leaflet from the incumbent party. No door knocks or anything.

That’s what I want to see – active local politics and a real competition between parties and candidates – no more lazy politics lazy politicians and no more jobs for life.

Forcing politicians to achieve at least 50% of the vote will also mean that they have to reach outside their comfort zone or their “base” and mean that they have to appeal to more people than they usually do – so we might see them out and about a bit more.

Here’s hoping anyway.