Why must we constantly reform? Why can the past never be better than an illusory future? Why can things never be right now?
These are the questions that have been bugging me about the great reform debate. The parameters of the debate seem to be marked by a persistent faith in the beneficent power of change, yet change without forethought is foolhardy.
Above all, I am irritated by the nonsense propagated about alternative voting systems being fairer. What on earth does this mean and how does it relate to the practical nature of politics? Why have these people failed to grasp the essential truth that politics as art is not fair but is centred upon the distribution and use of power.
The purpose of politics is not fairness but government. We also have a strange obsession with abstract fairness, yet as I have pointed out in different conversations, the very fair nature of Proportional Representation based systems actually removes representation from the localities, local parties and issues and removes the centre of power to the national stage and in a democracy, in particular to the party managers.,
Like so much propagated in the name of fairness in modern life, the ultimate result is to place political power more firmly in the hands of the elites.
Whilst I am in favour what I loosely term “the aristocratic principle” in politics, valuing the ideal of the “mixed” constitution of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, I do not favour oligarchy. By imposing a uniform system of election on this country, the oligarchs will have taken too much political weight for this system to bear and further more will have dressed themselves in the language of “democracy”.
There is more than one way to defraud democracy but PR is amongst the best.