Saturday, May 15, 2010

Letter to my MP

Dear Mary Macleod,

Congratulations on winning the recent election. I'm writing to you on the issue of electoral reform.

As I'm sure you're aware, the borough you're now representing is enormously diverse and not everyone here is eligible to vote in a UK general election, but even of those who were able to vote, only two thirds of the people in your area voted. Of those, only a little over a third voted for you.

I'm sure that this must make for quite an uncomfortable position coming into a new job, knowing that most of the panel who interviewed you either abstained or wanted to employ someone else for the job you now hold, and that there are a great many people who live in the area whose voices cannot be represented because they are not UK subjects and therefore do not have a vote.

I am aware that there are moves within the new coalition government to discuss electoral reform and I implore you to support a system of proportional representation.

As it stands, only 64% of the people in your area voted, of those, only 37% voted for you, yet there's enormous pressure on you from your party to consider your employers the Conservative Party and for your decisions to be informed by their morals and ideology, and it's likely that their policies mirror your own beliefs, but I implore you to remember that now that you are the MP for Brentford and Isleworth, you work for us, not for them, and that means you work for the 63% of people who voted whose votes were ignored because of the first past the post system. You work for the 36% of voters who felt that none of the candidates on offer motivated them sufficiently to walk to the corner of their street and tick a box or post a piece of card, and you represent the people who did not have a chance to express an opinion at all, and in an election where no-one seemed to say once that immigrants to this country have brought amazing things, and we have a parliament that seems to reflect this thinking, I implore you to remember that you represent all these people above your party.

I know that you'll have joined the Conservatives out of a sense of belief, but until we have proportional representation, you're letting down the people of the area if you support the party above the plurality of opinions here in your area. Under a system of PR, MPs would be able to follow their hearts with conviction without a sense that they are not representing the views of their area, but until then, and if you're not in favour of a system of PR, then please be aware that you work for me and all of the other people in the area who disagree with Conservative ideology and policy and with the terms of your campaign and that you're going against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of people in your area if you support party politics above local opinion.

Please let me know when you're having your MP surgeries so we can start to discuss this further and so that I can make clear the things I'd like to see you campaigning on in parliament, so that I know that my voice hasn't been ignored simply because I didn't vote for the largest minority among a range of options which scarcely represent the views of myself, my friends or anyone I know in the area.

Yours sincerely,

Howard Hardiman

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