boiling the frog


I might as well admit it- I’m exhausted. It’s not primarily due to the travelling around talking faith and politics at local churches, it’s more to do with the fact I’m virtually hard-wired into a plethroa of web-based media feeding me election stories. And receiving too much information on a regular basis is not good for you. Roll on the 7th May.

Last night I went to my own constituency’s hustings (New Forest West). I missed the opening exchanges but there was plenty of opportunity for debate around key issues including support for families, NHS priorities, religious liberties and er. Europe. When Europe was mentioned in even moderately positive tones the brave speaker was heckled and hissed. We’re a funny lot in New Forest West, we’re close to Europe only in the geographical sense. The UKIP candidate was very at home and described a growing realisation of the dangers we face (from being in EU, surprisingly) as similar to those faced by a frog after being placed in water and heated slowly towards boiling point. He didn’t confess to having done the experiment himself but he made his point. Being immersed in something for so long can lead us to miss the blindingly obvious. So what could creep up on us and deliver something shockingly unfair? Being (not uncritically) pro-European I’m not enammered with his analysis. Instead I present you with this hypothesis: a voting system that could deliver a grossly disproportionate number of seats to the third placed party (whoever that might be, though it would be a particularly good result for UKIP if it were them). Our votes are not equal, they have absolutely no effect in many of the constituencies of the General Election. If you’re sceptical try the Voterpower website that gives you the value of your vote weighted by its likelihood of influence. Mine has a blistering value of 0.019- the average voter has 12.5 times more influence than me! Could this be an issue of social justice? We all have God’s image placed within us determining our human dignity and equality, maybe our voter power should reflect this?

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