Thursday, we are to vote on a reform to our electoral system: the
introduction of the Alternative Vote. The No2AV campaign have offered a
number of striking arguments against this change.
Always keen on the long view, I have dug
out a political pamphlet from 1689, the year of the Bill of Rights and
therefore the birth of Parliamentary Democracy and I publish the full
Sirs, th’unruly MOB hath
lately fulminat’d for CHANGE to the POLITICK of this NATION &
certain BILLS are presently laid before the HOUSE offering provision for
ELECKTIONS unto PARLIAMENT & limitations o’er the power of the
MONARCH. It is our settled VIEW that PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY is a
naughty doctrine & would be resist’d by all good MEN. We do venture
to set forth our REASONS below.
ONE, we do declare that
PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY is expensive, demanding much of the publick
PURSE in the nature of BALLOT BOXES, PAPERS & sundry PENCILS. The
vulgar OPINION of the people will needs be carried by HORSE and
ERRAND-BOY at further expense. Who is to bear the EXCESS COST of this
frivolity popularly nam’d VOTING? DECISIONS made by the King &
agree’d by such hereditary MEMBERS as whimsickally choose t’attend at
the HOUSE cost naught to the PUBLICK who ergo may go about their lives
spending their BAUBLES on BREAD and SOIL, &c.
TWO, we do find that
PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY is a wretched BURDEN and TOIL to the BRAIN of
the ORDINARY MAN, who will perforce be addl’d and confound’d by th’TASK
to choose between divers CANDIDATES. Do we consider it a proper USE of
publick TIME for each ENGLISH SUBJECT to discover FACTS and OPINIONS and
DEBATES in the matter of GOOD GOVERNMENT? Sirs, we venture to say NO.
To place an EX in THIS box or THAT is no TASK for an AMATEUR & we do
judge it bothersome & unnecessary to rouse the PEOPLE from its BED
to demoralyze it with this obscure INTERROGATION.
THREE, though we have
sought in EARNEST, we do find no NATION or KINGDOM in th’entire WORLD
that do make USE of this PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY. Our efficacious &
belov’d SYSTEM of ROYAL DECREE may be found in fully all DOMAINS save
where there be but SAVAGES. Do we not trow if PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY
were the SPLENDID FANCY that its FANATICKS pretend, we might have
discover’d it OTHERWHERE?
DEMOCRACY do offend agin our TRADITIONS of JUSTICE. Indeed, Sirs, we say
it is UNFAIR. Why, its CHAMPIONS themselves judge it possible that the
BEST CANDIDATE, plainly judg’d by his WEALTH, PATRIOTISM & sporting
PROWESS, may come second or e’en THIRD according to the insensible
OPINIONS of the MOB? This KINGDOM already is possess’d of a fine CUSTOM
to allow the best of us to come forth & assume AUTHORITY, namely
WEALTH, STOCK & PRIMOGENITURE. What NEED hath ENGLAND of the
FIFTH, we do have it on AUTHORITY that the beliefs of MISS NELL GWYN were oppos’d unto
REFORM, which, Sirs, surely settles the MATTER.
ROYAL PREROGATIVE on all
CONCERNS works. Sirs, we hereby declare the HEALTH of PARLIAMENT as
currently constitut’d & counsel with VIGOUR that it should never be
modify’d. As the common PARLANCE tells us, if it be not broke, forbear
to FIX it.
On Thursday, please vote YES to AV.