Thursday, 5 November 2009

One citizen, one vote and all votes equal

Throughout all the campaigns for full citizenship in the southern states of the US, in South Africa and the then Rhodesia the slogan 'one man one vote!' was used. The chartists in the 19th Century were so outraged by the rotten boroughs that allowed some votes to be worth more than others that one of their six demands was that there should be 'equal electoral districts'.

I raise this because talking to a Bootle councillor yesterday he,without a quiver of self doubt, asserted that votes in Bootle should be worth more. His argument was that because of the social deprivation they needed smaller wards.

'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.....'

There are many groups in society who are disadvantaged and the thought of 'weighting' their votes would have ridiculous consequences. Do travellers and gypsies get bigger votes, what about new immigrants or higher tax payer (how often have I heard from folk living in mansions that they should get more from the council because of the amount of council tax they pay)? No one citizen, one vote but if they are all to be equal we will need to reform the voting system

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