The independent London newspaper

Our democracy is decided by spending on campaigns

04 January, 2019

• THE result of a close-run election – as the last one was – can be decided by as few as 16 marginals. Or, given a 70 per cent turnout, some 884,800 votes.

The other 35 or so million votes have no say at all. Only nearly 2.5 per cent of votes decide the election. This is democracy.

On June 23, 2016, 17,410,742 voted to leave; 16,141,241 voted to stay – and 17,804,785 did not vote. Those who vote think they are right, but are they?

For example, having been told by senior politicians that staying in the EU would mean the end of Nato and the subsumption of our armed forces into those of Europe, many voters may have put defence before fiscal consideration and voted to leave.

But was what the senior politicians said true or propaganda? Democracy says nothing about what is or is not true – only what voters with any say think is true.

It is all down to how much money each faction puts into an election campaign, and the greater the number of voters who think they are right when in fact they are wrong that can be achieved. This is democracy.



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