The facts about

A post that should be required reading for every politician in the country is over at the home of Stefan Magdalinski. Sometime in the next couple of days, the incredible FaxYourMP will hit 50,000 faxes delivered, arguably the biggest exercise in improving the communication from citizens to MPs since the citizens bayed for the head of Charles I. And yet FYMP is essentially ignored by Parliament, and no from from it has been invited to contribute to the e-democracy consultation document.
Stef, being a conspiracy theorist, would argue that this is ultimately because Parliament doesn’t actually want to converse with the citizens. I disagree: I think that the majority of Parliamentarians would in fact welcome the provision of more connected ways of conversing with their constituents. It would, for one thing, mean they would cut down on the amount of constituency surgeries, which most MPs hate (even though none of them would ever admit it).
But the ultimate thing is that Parliament doesn’t matter, and what Parliament would like doesn’t matter. We do not live in a true representative democracy, but in an elected dictatorship. The role of Parliament has, since at least the start of the 20th Century, been reduced to rubber stamping the dictates of the Cabinet, and in the last 20 years the Cabinet has been reduced to rubber stamping the dictates of the Prime Minister.
The e-democracy “consultancy” is all about the Cabinet being seen to be listening, going through the motions of consulting the people. Yet in our system, there is now only one episode of consulting the people that counts: The once every five years vote for who will be the Prime Dictator. MPs, for all their bluster, no longer matter. []