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Democracy a statistic

Our democracy used to be about governance, i.e. of the people, by the people and for the people. Now we have a pollster venturing out of his statistical domain to tell us that a run-off election is “more democratic” than our current system. And in his exposition he has redefined all functioning concepts of democracy as we have known it.

In the Westminster system of governance, the person who is the “first past the post” receives the honour of representing the constituency in Parliament, i.e. every person in the entire constituency. Since when do we have majority MPs and minority MPs. Isn’t the MP for St Joseph required to represent all of the constituents of St Joseph even if he did not receive a majority of the votes cast in the elections that gave him that privilege? The fallacy that the dear pollster is promoting would have us believe that the elected representative’s obligation is different when he gets over 50 per cent of the votes cast in the election that elected him/her, even if the turn-out for the run-off elections is so low that he voter-support accounts for less than 20 per cent of all registered voters in the constituency. Is this what he means by the system becoming “more democratic”; a statistic!

Maybe this is an extension of the failure of those in Government to understand that when you form the Government, you are expected to govern on behalf of all the people, not just those who voted you into power. Mr Pollster, do some reading up on “governance” as against “electoral victory”.

Allan Williams

Arima

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