Boundary changes are a condemnation of British government and politics

We are a nation that does not know how many people live within its boundaries.
Centuries after statistics was invented as a branch of mathematics to help run a state, and centuries after the census was introduced to know where people live and to plan and to predict for the future, we, the British are incapable of such an obvious task, that even William the Conqueror set out to do it in 1066.  (IBM made their breakthrough by automating the counting of U.S. census returns in the 19th Century.)
The obvious starting point is that each MP should represent an equal number of people resident.  And yes, resident, not just registered to vote.
An exact divide is impossible.   This review goes for tighter tolerances, missing more opportuniies to avoid crossing primary authority borders  – e.g. Nottingham and Notts; and even Devon and Cornwall.
Changes in the modern world having broken up communities that build up collective action, such as encouraging people to turn out to vote; and changes to the tax system (Poll tax, then council tax), the benefits system (bedroom tax) and the registration system (annual individual registration) have driven up the numbers not registered.
Despite a late addition of 2 million people in the run-up to the EU referendum – ignored in this review (and something I highlighted with a question in full Council on Monday; Graham Chapman’s updated reply available here) – there are millions still missing.
That reducing MPs by 50 was about saving costs is negated by having increased the number of Lords by some hundreds.
So the terms of the boundaries review are wrong and set to skew the new seats in favour of the Conservatives.
Yes, I’d stop this process.
(I’ll also work to suggest better solutions as it continues .)
But I would go further –
– a requirement for every citizen to be registered, prompted by using information from a number of sources beyond the existing register, such as tax and social security to prompt the most likely address;
then, a democracy needs higher turnout –
– rewarding voting by some kind of voucher and / or tax discount;  (more representative outcomes and perhaps reducing costs of registartion);
and even –
– making the Lords votes proportionate to votes cast at a General Election, with a clearer focus on scrutiny and maybe even filling a Regional gap in democratic governance that the public seem reluctant to have an election for.
Oh, and making the Commons more relevant by committees that more faithfully shadow Ministers and their decisions, with better public information on the decisions to be made.  Give the media some proper substance to report on.

We could govern ourselves in such a better way.
This review shows how useless we British have become.


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