Power to the 0.1%

Theresa May had to step down because she couldn’t deliver Brexit - or at least her party couldn’t agree on how to do it. Now, the Conservative party are spending the summer electing a new leader.

The media are covering the campaign as if it were an election we can all vote in. But the 160,000 members of the Conservative party with a vote account for just 0.1% of the population. This is not democracy.

The UK is not a presidential system, but now is a pivotal moment in our democratic crisis. Every candidate is putting their preferred Brexit at the centre of the campaign, and whoever wins will determine its nature for the whole country.

The contest is full of talk of avoiding a further referendum, or a general election. There’s talk of shutting down Parliament to force a no deal Brexit[1]. Some of the candidates only seem to believe in democracy when it works in their interests. This sense of entitlement shines a light on this elite's attitude towards the rest of us.

We will always challenge part-time democrats like these. But reclaiming our democracy for the people is the only lasting solution. We need a constitutional convention to collectively decide on how we want to be governed, and what we want from our politics.

How democratic do you think the Conservative leadership election is? Let us know in the comments below 👇


[1] Tory leadership candidates clash over Brexit strategies, BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-48572882

Sam Coates186 Comments