We recently celebrated Democracy Day, commemorating the 750th anniversary of the first elected parliament at Westminster and 800 years since the signing of Magna Carta. I find it bizarre, to say the least, that the present Conservative-Liberal government has introduced legislation that was predicted to, and indeed is, reducing the proportion of those eligible to vote who actually register to do so. People in certain groups are falling off the register. These include young people such as students; those who have less stability in life, perhaps because of low wage poverty (40% of households living below the poverty line have at least one wage earner), unemployment, zero hours contracts or job insecurity, and those who are forced to move around to follow jobs or because their housing is insecure (there is now less social housing to go round). These, of course, are the groups that tend to vote Labour — or at least, to vote against the present government. Cynics might see a connection here. This is all the more puzzling from a government which says it is keen on improving representation and is proposing measures to require a greater proportion of union members to vote for strike action in industrial disputes. That, of course, as opposed to the electoral situation, might result in an outcome this government would prefer! This week, we have Voter Registration Day; please, everyone, make sure you are registered to vote, and then go and do so on May 7.
Susan Lakeman, South Canterbury Road, Canterbury
Herne Bay Gazette, February 5th 2015