Today is the 4th of May. Some wag, a long time ago, decided that the punning nature of ‘May the 4th’ and the Star Wars line ‘May the force be with you’ should be honoured with the declaration of this day to be Intergalactic Star Wars Day, or something, until the end of time.
You’d think that for myself, that this day would be a glorious celebration. But that’s to underestimate the power of the force. In my house, every day is Star Wars day.
And what a fine achievement it is: that the most successful film series of all-time utilizes such a combination of documentary footage, found through deep-space historical research in 1977, and isn’t one of those fictional films that seem to fill the cinema seats, and bust-blocks.
I think that’s why I love the Star Wars so much. Because I relate to these people, Han, and Leia, and Luke, and Vader, and Chewie. These are real people, living similar lives to ours, facing the same struggles that we face, but deep in history, and far, far away. These are the kind of characterisations that ‘made-up’ and ‘scripted’ films can never come close to.
I’d like to think that if I’d lived then, I’d be some sort of space administrative: writing press releases, proof-reading the Rebellion Manifesto, laminating the X-Wing user manual and ordering flea-medication for walking carpets. I think this because I side against the Galactic Empire, but am a rubbish fighter and pilot.
Tomorrow is May the 5th. Tomorrow, we in the UK have a chance to make a significant change in our electoral procedure. We have the opportunity to re-establish democracy within our democracy. For hundreds of years, the legislature of the United Kingdom has been offered to the people with one hand, and taken away by the minority with the other.
For every act of emancipation, for those under 30, for women, for poor folk, the state still claws back even more. Our country is the United Kingdom. The Monarch still has the final word, no matter how we vote.
The House of Lords has been revamped, with the ongoing removal of hereditary peers. Yet instead Life Peers are created as a result of political opportunism, filling the benches of our upper chamber with a bunch of un-elected party cronies.
The House of Commons, ie: the bit we vote for, is just as ridiculous. We have all these wonderful ‘seats’ – that is to say, parts of the country divvyed up and gerrymandered in the pursuit of securing a power base. So few of these are ‘swing’ seats that voting in most of the country is irrelevant: in many areas a proverbial cardboard cut-out of a politician wearing the right-coloured rosette will get elected, no matter what.
And the Prime Minister, our fore-most politician and representative here on earth, well we don’t elect him – he’s chosen by the party that wins the most seats. It doesn’t even matter if his or her party failed to command 50% of the vote – regardless the winning party has near-enough unlimited power to refill the benches of the House of Lords with their highest-donating / most-loyal supporters.
We have the option of changing this, slightly – so that when I vote, my vote is not only counted, but my opinion is heard. The Alternative Vote system ensures that the majority of people in a constituency are represented by someone they chose. It’s not perfect. It’s not pure democracy, or pure proportional representation, it’s not even the Additional Member System, which I really like, but for now, it will do.
It’s certainly better, and fairer, and more representative than the awful First Past The Post system we operate now, where votes don’t count, and parties choose safe seats for their special favourites, and then promote those that fail into the ranks of the Lords anyway.
But enough about me: the Conservatives and the RACIST BNP SCUM are against it. Surely that says something, right?
In the spirit of today though, it’s worth examining the archives that Lucasfilm discovered, and see how our friends across the universe would vote.
Kashyyyk – home of the Wookies – says Rawwallawwweell to AV.
Yes, They'd rather have the Alternative Member System, or a proportionally-elected upper chamber, but anything is better than the legacy Wookie MPs who get elected no-matter-what in seats that no longer count. Also, Chewbacca would like a none-of-the- above option.
Tatooine – ruled by The Hutts – says No to AV
The Hutts love their safe seats in the Senate, and have no reason to want to change. Now, I'm not calling the Tory party a bunch of slug-like slime-oozing gangsters who only have their own interests (money, dancing girls, bloodsports) at heart, but there are similarities....
Naboo – ruled by pre-teen girls and Jar-Jar Binks’ species – says No to AV
No offence to 11 year-old girls, but they are quite easily misled. And the Binks and his underwater gang of buffoons are idiots. No wonder they say No.
Cloud City – Ruler Lando Calrissian – says Yes to AV
Lando was elected Head of State after receiving 32% of the vote in a four-candidate race. The other candidates were all more left-wing and liberal than Lando – and would never have pulled such a dodgy deal with The Empire. However, the anti-Lando vote was split, and that is why Bespin had a garrison of troops left there, and its citizens want a fairer electoral system.
Alderaan –ruled by Hereditary Royalty – says Yes to AV
Well, they would, but the selfish King decided to ignore democratic thoughts and allowed the rebellion to base their operations on his planet. And now, thanks to the awesome devastational power of the Death Star, a million voices calling out for a fair voting system were suddenly silenced....
Droids – y’know, metal robots – say Yes to AV
Droids are the second class citizens in the galaxy. The number of them who are eligible to vote is so low, that no droid representation is found in the Galactic Senate. This is why it is commonplace for many restaurants and public houses in the galaxy to bar droids and ‘their kind’ from their establishments.Droids want a balanced vote, and see the Yes to AV campaign as a building-block or stepping-stone to further progression in electoral fairness.