5 May 2015
Britons will go to the polls on Thursday, May 7, 2015, but membership of all political parties is at an all time low. There are more members of 38 Degrees, a campaigning website than there are of all the main political parties put together in Britain, argues political analyst, Zac Goldsmith.
Overall there has been a downward trend in voter turnout since 1997. Politicians blame the phenomenon on voter apathy, but Goldsmith contends that public disengagement with the political process in Britain can be attributed to the distance between politicians and the wishes of the people. For example, almost two million people turned out on the streets to march against the War in Iraq. Despite public opinion, Tony Blair not only supported the war, but also dragged Britain into it.
Goldsmith believes that the basic problem with the political system is that even though the world has changed beyond all recognition in a very short space of time, politics has stood still.
Editor’s Note: Watch Goldsmith’s complete lecture on "Transforming UK Politics" at the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts (RSA) here. Meanwhile celebrity activist Russell Brand appears to have thrown his support behind the Labour Party. Watch his interview with Labour’s Ed Miliband here.