Friday, 9 May 2008

Do MPs Represent Voters' Views?

A cornerstone of Parliamentary Democracy is that the elected represent the views of the electorate. Do they really? If so, how do they know what is the view of the majority of their constituents on any one issue?
Though MPs may take heed of the views of those people who attend their surgeries (the typical voter?) and many others that they talk to, that isn't the same as discovering the majority view. In fact it would be impossible to gather that information by conversation alone given the vast range of issues and the fact that a statistically significant sample will typically run to hundreds if not thousands of people, chosen to represent the wider demographics.
Do MPs instigate opinion polls in their constituencies? Very, very rarely!
Sure, electorates exert some pressure on their MPs when it's time for re-election, but who wins may have more to do with personal like ability than policy.... and which of many policies does the vote express an opinion on? How many voters even know how their candidates voted on any particular issue?
Interactive Democracy will give a far truer representation of the electorate's view - put simply, it asks them!

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