It is something that has been crossing my mind recently the idea of whether we elect people to represent our thoughts or whether we elect someone to think for us. If an MP is lobbied by the majority of his or her constituents to vote for something which goes against their own personal viewpoint then what should they do?
It come to a prominent part of my mind last week during the debate on the amendment brought forward by Nadine Dorries. I would probably hazard a guess that if you balloted every single voter in the land that they would welcome Nadine’s amendment that independent counselling be offered to every person considering an abortion. On a personal level I wasn’t as radically against compared to most of twitter who think that if Nadine Dorries said that giving free education to all it would suddenly become a bad thing. I know Nadine is pretty awful in terms of her politics but this wasn’t the worst thing she has ever suggested – not by a long shot.
Having said that I was happy the amendment didn’t go through because I’m very much from a ‘if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it’ mindset and I don’t think the system is broken. I can’t see how charities would cajole women into having abortions that they didn’t really want just to earn a few quid. I happen to not think that these people are evil monsters and if they were doing that then that is exactly what they would be.
Locally there is an issue in Southend that has been rumbling on long before I first descended into this town – that of Southend Airport. I know some Lib Dems have campaigned on a pro-airport stance and some anti-airport depending on where they are campaigning. I have no doubt the other parties do the same but I don’t have first hand knowledge of this so I can’t say for sure but it would make sense. So it seems perfectly acceptable for prospective politicians to tailor their campaigns for the audience that they are trying to be embraced by whether or not that is their real thoughts on an issue.
This in a way troubles me. I would like all politicians on all levels to be totally open and up front about everything. Say what they are staunchly for and against and then have the topics that they can have debates about and act in the best interests of the people that they represent. Whether this happens or whether this will ever happen I don’t know but it seems to me as though you are at times asked to falsely represent yourself in order to get votes and if you don’t then the likelihood is lowered that you’ll win a particular seat.
So I suppose it comes down to how many white lies are acceptable in a political campaign? At what point is it acceptable to use your own PoV above the PoV of the people you represent? If you get elected in a constituency that gets inundated with non-natives and the natives are all xenophobes but you yourself are pro-immigration then how do you vote on issues regarding immigration? Do you vote with what you think is right or do you do what the people that voted for you want?
I don’t know the right answer but it is a quandary. I know what my instincts say but I genuinely have no idea what people think on this issue.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.