The Editor, The Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson writes in his Editorial post, Lent 2023: ‘Gerrymandering’ is the political manipulation of electoral boundaries with the intent of creating an undue advantage for a political party or faction. These days it might also be extended to describe generically other associated practices to the same end. ...
Whilst currently busy assessing the recent decision published by the House of Bishops and welcomed by the General Synod to enable same-sex couples to come to church after a civil marriage or partnership to give thanks, dedicate their relationship to God and receive God’s blessing - even the Church of England, cannot be accused of gerrymandering. At least not in terms of its electoral process, which has long used a system of Proportional Representation for its elections – the precise form being STV (Single Transferable Vote). ...
Not fraudulent, but certainly unfair, the system as used in the United Kingdom for parliamentary elections remains that of the so-called ‘first past the post’ (FPTP) where winner takes all regardless of how low a percentage actually voted for the candidate. This has produced some seriously skewed results. For example, the Johnson-led conservative victory at the 2020 general election produced a large parliamentary majority of 80 seats – hailed a great mandate and the will of the people on what was actually only 43.6% of the popular vote. Clearly, this system often effectively negates the wishes of a majority of voters. ...
The use of voter ID is in itself no bad thing, if it ensures democracy rather than distorting it. Nevertheless, there is a legitimate concern even if the scheme may in practice backfire and in practice remove the vote from the very people it is meant to encourage . In short and in practice it looks like a subtle variation of gerrymandering. ...
Kiev or Kyiv? -
A difference in spelling the name of the capital city has emerged since the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine was first mooted. The shift indicates an almost universal reluctance to use the former Kiev as it is a transliteration from the Russian Cyrillic alphabet. The new (to us in the West) Kyiv is the local Ukrainian usage. Thus, solidarity in a spelling bee can be shown with those of us who are horrified at the increasing terror of Russian imperialism and accompanying military violence towards a near neighbour.
Dr. Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi -
In this article Dr. Hettiarachchi revisits ‘the recent British past’, particularly the late 1990s when he lived in the British Isles. This may seem like 30-year-old history, but the impact seems perennial.
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