Tag Archives: political inequality

The Independent View: Political inequality threatens constitutional holy cows

ipprIt is time to put some holy constitutional cows out to pasture. The traditional liberal reform agenda remains necessary, but it is no longer enough to reanimate our democracy. Too many of its solutions remain insensitive to how class and demography intimately shape how our political system operates; structural political inequalities in who participates and has voice will not end with a codified constitution and a more proportionate electoral system. Liberals of all party stripes and none need a new political agenda squarely aimed at reversing ingrained political inequality, a phenomenon that threatens the integrity of British democracy.

Last week, President Obama said: “it would be transformative if everybody voted. If everyone voted, that would completely change the political map in this country.” He’s not wrong. “The people who tend not to vote are young, they’re lower income, they’re skewed more heavily towards immigrant groups and minority groups,” he said. “There’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls.” America is already a divided democracy, and the UK is headed in the same direction.

Political inequality is where despite procedural equality in the democratic process, certain groups, classes or individuals nonetheless have greater influence over and participate more in political decision-making processes, with policy outcomes systematically weighted in their favour. As such, it undermines a central democratic ideal: that all citizens, regardless of status, should be given equal consideration in and opportunity to influence collective political decision-making.

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged | 16 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPeter Martin 31st May - 8:21am
    @ Joe B, I can't see the FT article at the moment because of the Paywall. I've noticed you're fond of saying things like "This...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 31st May - 8:19am
    @George Kendall The article I quoted is, of course, not gospel. It’s just one side of the argument, and potentially a very dangerous one. The...
  • User AvatarAntony Watts 31st May - 8:09am
    Actually we don’t have a single Dom Covid problem. We have two, maybe interconnected problems. First, Cummings is not the man we need anywhere near...
  • User AvatarAntony Watts 31st May - 8:06am
    Actually we don’t have a single Dom Covid problem. We have two, maybe interconnected problems. First, Cummings is not the man we need anywhere near...
  • User AvatarAntony Watts 31st May - 7:56am
    I tell you what: home schooling is fun. I learned a lot, especially chemistry. And my wife now understands adverbs vs adjectives. We did this...
  • User AvatarHilton Marlton 31st May - 7:48am
    I've always longed to see Dillie make a guest appearance on the stage at Conference. This is another treasure in a line of pithy songs.