Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The mother of parliaments, 2016

In Britain, in 2016, seven people are standing in an election, all contesting a seat in Britain's upper house of parliament.

Only three people are allowed to vote in this election: the Earl of Oxford and Asquith, the Earl of Glasgow and Lord Addington.

I think we need some context here:

  • Yes, this is 2016, not 1816.
  • Yes, we boast about living in a parliamentary democracy.
  • The vacant post is for a Liberal Democrat hereditary peer. 

As for what any of this has to do with "democracy" - or the "Democrat" bit of the party's name - your guess is as good as mine. My own best guess is that the people involved are just very easily satisfied and are absolutely fine that a demos of two earls plus a lord adds up to democracy. Or maybe three voters sounds like a lot to the post-Cleggocalypse Lib Dems.

Fortunately, I'm sure there are plenty of experts in our (unwritten) constitution who'll be able to explain how this is sort of thing makes perfect sense and why voters shouldn't worry their little heads about such details.