The post below is a mirror of a guest posting I wrote at the excellent Political Idealist website. If you have the slightest interest in UK politics and current affairs then you really should check it out!
With the recent talk of David Cameron leading us out of the European Union, much has been made of the fact of the lack of democracy in the European institutions with even politicians in France and Germany admitting that the United Kingdom being the last country in Europe that needs to take lessons in democracy.
As agreeable and perhaps rare as it is to be so openly praised by some of our European friends, it does seem to clash somewhat with the recent vote to reduce the number of Parliamentary constituents.
While it is only fair and right that each constituency should have similar numbers of potential voters and that a vote in the poorest districts of East London or Tyneside should be worth no more or no less than a vote in leafy Oxfordshire or Kensington surely there is something that has been forgotten. Almost a level of hypocrisy though far be it from me to claim our esteemed Prime Minister may be guilty of this.
With the well publicised and blinding obvious sharp increased in the population of our nation, should we not be looking to increase the number of constituents rather than decrease them. It is hard to believe that cutting 20 MP’s out of Parliament is going to save that much money despite their ever increasing salaries and as such a small increase should not be too large a strain on the public purse especially in the name of democracy.
For example the population of my own constituency in Watford has increased by 13.3%. There was a similar increase in the 1990’s and with the amounts of flats and houses being built the population is only going to soar by 2021. As such my own feeble but valuable vote has gone from approximately 1 vote out of 60,000 (assuming the population only consists of over 18’s and non-criminals) to one which will soon be over 90,000. My vote is not worth as much as once was and my MP now has a large proportion of extra people to represent.
On a national level, this represents an increasing democratic deficit and with every million increase in the population of our country so the voice and vote of each of one of us becomes not just less relevant but lost amongst the sea of other equally valuable but also less relevant voters.
As such surely whilst we should be aiming for equal number of constituents in constituencies if we want to have a democracy that isn’t one day as lacking and unrepresentative as the EU then we should be demanding more MPs.
I commend this motion to the House.