Parliament, MPs and a Betrayal of Democracy.

When Boris Johnson attempted for a second time to trigger a General Election on the 10th September he won the vote in parliament with a majority of 247. 

Of the votes cast 85% were for a General Election.

So why did the bill to trigger a General Election fail? 

It failed because according the Fixed Term Parliament Act he needed the backing of 66% of MPs. 

A 66%+ majority was inadequate. In fact only 52% of MPs voted.

Look at this and weep.

Thats right. Nearly half of all MPs elected to Parliament to vote on our behalf could not be bothered (or were too scared) to even register a vote. Yet this was one of the most important bills to come before Parliament this century. For these cowards no vote was recorded.

If in a General Election only 52% of the electorate turned up to vote then it would (quite rightly) be regarded as a crisis for democracy.

I am unsure as to the true motivation (or lack thereof) of those who failed to vote but I can make a few guesses. 

But the first and foremost aspect of all this is the type of example it sets to an electorate that is already pretty damn disillusioned with politics in the UK.

Dare I suggest that if you are elected to Parliament it is your DUTY to vote. 

No ifs buts or wherefores or Machiavellian subterfuges, you must vote.

There may be (very) rare occasions when you may feel inadequately qualified (or whatever) but the clue is in the word – rare. 

There was absolutely no excuse for any MP not to vote (either for or against) this bill.

Of course there are reasons why some MPs would oppose Johnsons bill. 

But instead of actually publicly displaying their preference they allowed a clearly flawed Fixed Term Parliament Act to do their dirty work for them.

Look at this.

Notice the block of 111 Labour MPs (for who no vote is recorded) happen to represent Leave majority constituencies. 

I don’t know whether they are stupid enough to think the little subterfuge of not voting will allow them to pretend they were not responsible for vetoing a General Election.

I do wonder whether they are hoping to say on the doorstep that they didn’t actually vote down Johnsons bill. 

Or maybe they just wanted to avoid any immediate unwanted publicity that their vote might attract in their home town.

We elect politicians for a purpose. 

They are there to represent our views and are handsomely paid to do so. In order to represent our views the very least they have to do is actually vote! 

Then we can see them publicly upholding (or for that matter – betraying) our mandate.

This shocking dereliction of duty for petty party political ends is simply obscene and a betrayal of the electorate.

If you are an MP at least have the guts to vote. You were not elected to sit on your hands.

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