Dear Archbishop of Canterbury

So, you\’ve finally noticed:

Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, has issued a broadside against the coalition government, claiming it is forcing through \”radical policies for which no one voted\”.

We live in a representative democracy.

This means that when we vote we vote for individuals. For specific people. Then we send them off to do that heavy ruling for us.

We do not vote for ideas, policies, the Prime Minister nor anything other than the name of the individual person on hte ballot paper.

It\’s entirely fine to decide that this isn\’t a good idea, that we should be voting in some other manner.

But a little odd for you at the age of 61 to only have just realised the political system you\’ve been living in all your life.

13 thoughts on “Dear Archbishop of Canterbury”

  1. Precisely.
    And how many people voted for His Grace’s reactionary political stance – or his right to a seat in the upper chamber of our Parliament?

  2. Right. Radical policies (where?) that no-one voted for. Hmm. We have a coalition, whose manifesto (created after the election as coalitions tends to be) was an amalgam of the pre-election manifestos of the Tories and LDs. Who both got plenty of votes (10.7m for the Tories, 6.8m for the LDs).

    So its not exactly true, is it ArchBish that ‘no-one’ voted for these ‘radical’ policies? Actually quite a lot of people (most of those who voted Tory, who were the largest single number of voters) voted for even more radical policies. But didn’t get them because they weren’t the absolute majority.

    What would be more true to say is that you, ArchBish, didn’t vote for these ‘radical policies’, but that doesn’t sound so good, now does it?

  3. If we actually had the policies we voted for we would have voted to leave the EU by now and what would his bishoprick have to say about that?

  4. Presumably with this new-found belief in direct democracy, he’d also like a referendum on the EU?

  5. 2005 General Election
    No. of Votes: 9,552,436
    Percentage of Overall Vote: 35.2%

    2010 General Election
    No. of Votes: 10,703,754
    Percentage of Overall Vote: 36.1%

    So presumably there are hundreds of articles out there from the Archbish. (and other brave, non-hypocritical souls) decrying everything the previous government did as well. I just probably can’t find them because I’m bad at using Google or something.

  6. A lot of lefties are wailing that X, Y, and Z were not in the Tory or Lib Dem manifesto. Oddly, this didn’t seem to be a concern when Labour were launching their assault on civil liberties.

  7. > We do not vote for ideas, policies, the Prime Minister

    That is twaddle. In fact, the vast majority of the population vote based on party, not person. Certainly a majority of the population couldn’t even name their current MP. People vote mostly for parties, based mainly on the parties policies, or leaders, or whatever.

    You seem to be mistaking theory for reality, which is a touch disappointing.

  8. Worstall is always citing theory as reality without having any clue whatsoever what reality is.

  9. William, if you’re going to make assertions like that, source em? Because most people in my area can name the newly elected MP, and while I campaigned against him, he won, fair and square, with a personal vote on top of the party vote.

    People vote for a wide number of reasons, and their motivation for voting for a particular candidate are nuanced and manifold. I can’t be bothered to cite a source for that either, but you could start with any of the academic analysis of the last election books that’ve come out, or just looking at polling data in detail.

    Tim, one thing that really gets to me about that “no one voted for it” line?

    I did. I’m one of just under 2000 people who specifically, explicitly did vote for the coalition agreement after it was negotiated.

    And also it was my most predicted outcome of he GE and my second preferred as well, but, y’know, what do I know.

  10. Umm…

    Radical Policies?
    Radical Policies?
    I’ve looked everywhere but I just can’t find any.

  11. The Archbishop of Canterbury has both a right and a duty to speak out on *everything* in this country, just as I respect (while totally disagreeing with) the Pope’s view that he has a right and duty to tell me how to think.
    He is not the Prime Minister and does not dictate policy. Why does the press give his views more prominence than those of Prince Charles?

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