Archived on 6/5/2022

Local democracy

22 Oct '20

Not for the first time I recently heard a local Labour councillor suggesting they were in favour of some form of proportional representation. Previously i have heard that it would not be possible for Lewisham Council to change the electoral system, and thinking about it, that’s probably for the best.

But i was thinking how candidates and local parties could show their real support for multi-party democracy and fairer representation of the views of their constituents. It occurred to me that there is a simple solution in a council where each ward have three councillors and the Labour party rarely scores above 66% in the elections (look at the first preferences i the mayoral elections as a guide).

What i would propose is that no party stands more than 2 candidiates in most wards. If they can demonstrate more than 75% support in a ward then it would be right to stand the full slate of three candidates, otherwise they should allow the next most popular party in a constituency take the third seat. At present, this would still give the Labour Party a 2/3 majority as well as the authority of the directly elected mayor.

For candidates to say they believe in more local democracy and dislike the unfair electoral system in Westminster (and locally), they should be prepared to stand by their principles and ensure the local parties only put up two candidiates in most wards.

Anyway, just an idea, I’m sure our councillors have better things to worry about during the current health, welfare, and financial crisis than democracy.

23 Oct '20

I think that’s an excellent idea @Michael

I’ve often thought I can understand how some of our local representatives get elected but not how they got selected.

I would be delighted if our Politicians would go for it. It would do their and Lewisham’s reputation great good and would set a positive precedent for once. Sadly I fear there’s one thing that our Politicians love more than democracy and that’s Power.

23 Oct '20

it should not be a surprise to hear local Councillors talking about a fairer electoral system. There is a strong and growing movement within their party seeking electoral reform.