Mr Democracy

banksAs we approach the EU referendum it is fascinating to discover that one of the main financial backers of the campaign to leave the EU is reportedly considering a legal challenge to the Government who have extended the deadline for people to register to vote. Arron Banks is someone who has reportedly been willing to spend large sums of money to gain influence in first the Conservative Party and then UKIP and his various interventions in the campaign groups to argue for us to leave indicate someone who is not attempting to stay silently in the background. The idea that people need to register in order to vote in elections seems rather quaint, although I have not spent any time considering the alternatives, assuming there are some. However when Government websites crash, the right thing to do is to extend the deadline, assuming that is possible within the organisational constraints of running elections. The more people who vote legitimately, the more representative the result. That is simply stating a principle. Mr Banks has an interesting history if his Wikipedia entry is broadly correct. His business ethics might not make him anyones first choice to participate directly in an election, but when one can buy influence with large sums, perhaps standing as a candidate is not the most effective route into our rather tarnished form of democracy. One of the arguments presented by the Leave campaign is that the EU is antidemocratic and unaccountable. Indeed on 27th April Banks appeared in front of Parliament’s Treasury Committee when he stated the decision to leave the EU was not about “pounds and pence”, but “democracy”. This makes the decision by Arron Banks to try to stop the Government allowing more people to register deeply hypocritical. Some of his colleagues (as I understand it an MP and a MEP) suggested that the Government was gerrymandering the referendum. The term gerrymandering refers to a manipulation of constituency boundaries to change the outcome. This is all nonsense, as the boundaries have not changed. These men and women need to reflect on their words and actions, they are the people who are arguing they have democracy on their side, if so it is a strange form of democracy!

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in EU Referendum, Parliament and Democracy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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