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Letter: Why is Britain Failing? Governmental Structure and Voting Systems

Published on: 30 Apr, 2024
Updated on: 30 Apr, 2024

From: George Potter

Lib Dem borough councillor for Burpham and county councillor for Guildford East

David Roberts asks in his letter “Why Is Britain Failing Compared to the EU?”

Governmental structure and voting systems are a big part of the answer. The UK is the most centralised country in Europe, whereas all the countries named above have much greater regional and local autonomy, including decentralised taxation.

So instead of bloated and centralised government departments struggling to make decisions for an entire country you have local and regional governments making decisions for their own areas instead.

Couple that with their voting systems (none use first-past-the-post) and you don’t get any safe seats and people can actually vote out politicians and parties who are failing to deliver, instead of being stuck with one party in perpetuity depending on the area they live in.

Good government doesn’t happen naturally, it arises from good systems, good structure and good processes.

We have a very bad governmental structure in this country, and so we get the outcomes that inevitably arise from that.

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Responses to Letter: Why is Britain Failing? Governmental Structure and Voting Systems

  1. John Perkins Reply

    May 1, 2024 at 2:10 am

    I completely agree with George Potter. These are two important reasons why the UK has problems.

    Some time ago (I cannot remember when), there was an attempt to decentralize government departments. It seems to have been quietly shelved.

    The Labour and Conservative parties both depend upon FPTP [first-past-the-post] voting for their continued domination and are unlikely ever to change willingly.

    One of the arguments for FPTP is that it supposedly facilitates strong government able to implement its policies. I think the current situation gives the lie to that.

  2. Gus Stewart Reply

    May 1, 2024 at 9:08 am

    I agree 100%. FPTP [first-past-the-post] and over-reaching central government has served us very badly for many, many years. The answer is some form of PR and large-scale decentralisation away from the Westminster bubble.

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