I was listening to the radio the other day and a caller had called in to complain that they felt that in the UK we are over governed. That got me thinking about that issue and if in fact our system of democracy does result in our being ‘over governed ‘as the caller felt. Looking at my own situation, I am currently represented like this:
Dundee City Council West End Ward
Cllr Bill Campbell SNP
Cllr Vari McDonald SNP
Cllr Richard McCready Labour
Cllr Fraser Macpherson Liberal Democrat
Represent me in all area of local services such as planning, transport, roads, education, social services and libraries.
Joe Fitzpatrick MSP SNP
Jenny Marra MSP Labour North East List
Christian Allard MSP SNP North East List
Richard Baker MSP Labour North East List
Alex Johnstone MSP Conservative North East List
Lewis McDonald MSP Labour North East List
Alison McInnes MSP Liberal Democrat North East List
Nanette Milne MSP Conservative North East List
Represent me in the Scottish Parliament and have responsibility for a wide range of devolved matters. Areas include education, health, prisons, agriculture, justice and some tax raising powers.
UK Westminster Government
Chris Law MP SNP
Represents me in the House of Commons and scrutinises UK law and all aspects of UK Government.
European Parliament (Scotland)
Alyn Smith MEP SNP
Ian Hudghton MEP SNP
David Coburn MEP UKIP
Ian Duncan MEP Conservative
Catherine Stihler MEP Labour
David Martin MEP Labour
Basically the six MEPs represent me in the European Parliament and scrutinise proposed laws and the budget while sitting on various other decision-making bodies.
House of Lords
I can write to basically any of them.
Bloody hell, am I represented or what. Now trying to sort through that I would say that my main representatives are:
Cllr Fraser Macpherson Liberal Democrat Dundee City Council
Joe Fitzpatrick MSP SNP Scottish Parliament
Alison McInnes MSP Liberal Democrat North East List Scottish Parliament
Chris Law MP SNP UK Westminster Government
Ian Hudghton MEP SNP EU Parliament
Now I am really not sure what to make of all of this but on the face of it would look like the caller was correct in the sense that I may be over represented rather than over governed but there is probably an argument for that also. The other question is how would or could you change that and would it make a difference really at the end of the day.
I think that if you made Councillors full-time we could be represented by two rather than four. Do we need to be sending MPs to Westminster anymore when we have the Scottish Government, take away the independence argument for the moment, would it not be possible for one or two of the list MSPs to represent me at Westminster when appropriate in a federal system. MEPs, do we need six for Scotland, couldn’t we have an ambassador like system in a slimmed down EU? The House of Lords needs to go full stop. Either way when you look it we are over represented and in maintaining, rightfully, our democracy we have created a monster.