Will Parliament ever reflect society


untitled (223)At present the UK Parliament consists of 649 MPs who are members of a Political Party, and one person who is not. She is Lady Sylvia Hermon who until 12th April was a member of the Ulster Unionist Party. She left the Party when they decided to form an Alliance with the Conservative Party. This means that the House of Commons is made up of 99.85% Party Politicians. Even the House of Lords which contains many Peers who are not members of any party is made up of 70.4% Party Politicians. The country at large by contrast has around 400,000 people who are members of any Political Party within a Population of 63,181,775 so 99.3% of us are not Party members or 0.7% are members of a Party. This places a much greater challenge for Parliament than their need to offer some balance of gender, race, disability, sexuality or faith within their numbers. Now of course the Parties will argue that Parliament is open to anyone who wishes to stand in an election, but that is to deny the significant advantage that these large parties have within their control. Some of these advantages are financial and some are organisational. What cannot be denied is that a Political Party can take an unknown and unproven individual and hand to them all of the advantages that the Party has built up over many years, and with a few notable exceptions the choice of candidate in most constituencies is controlled exclusively by a small number of powerful individuals. Clearly if Independents like Lady Hermon were able to club together and organise themselves they would of course have formed a Party, which is the opposite of what they argue is their objective. However what cannot be disputed is that the members of Political Parties which stood at around 8% of the population in the 1950’s is now only one tenth of that. It is surely time for this small number of people who hold such a significant amount of power within their hands, to gain enough self awareness that they begin to ask themselves how to do a better job of reflecting our society.

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About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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