One of the topics that has been a recurring theme has been the unrepresentative nature of Gibraltar's electoral system, which is part of the democratic deficit that exists. In brief, although every voter has 10 votes, due to the indoctrination that there has been over the years this has become one vote for one person: the Chief Minister. Indoctrination because the parties, over years, have all communicated one message to voters ... if you want, from time to time, Hassan/Isola/Peliza/Bosanno/ Caruana you must vote for all the party: block voting.
History teaches us that the politicians have no incentive to change the electoral system. Most have promised to do so. These promises have come to nothing constantly. False promises as are many that are contained in party political manifestos. False promises that have not even resulted in any serious or unserious attempts at even exploring or studying alternative and more representative electoral systems.
Why should politicians change the system? The existing one suits them down to a tee. The Chief Minister gets elected. He becomes the all powerful ruler. His ministers tag along earning massive salaries, most of them for doing very little. The opposition get paid, do a half hearted job and wait for the electorate to get tired of the government whilst biding its time to form government. The Chief Minister in waiting, usually known as the Leader of the Opposition, knows that one day sooner or later he has the best chance and will likely become the all powerful leader. What a great gravy train, why would a politician change it?
They will have to change it only when and if voters flex their muscle, The change has to be forced on them. This is not a call to ferment or agitate unrest like their has been in Tunisia and there is now in Egypt. Thankfully we enjoy much greater freedoms that do not require such violence to achieve change. Change can be achieved by voters flexing their democratic muscle at an election.
The "block voting" system is not carved in stone. The voting system is that each voter has 10 votes. A voter has the right to give each of his votes to each and every single individual candidate having no regard to party membership. It is not written anywhere that any voter has to look at party acronyms (GSD, GSLP or PDP) and put his cross against the same acronym. There are good, average, indifferent and outright bad candidates in each party. There are usually independents in every election.
There is a mantra in the mouths of many which goes why do we not have an electoral system that elects the best brains? This is difficult to achieve in practice because available electoral systems do not militate towards achieving this objective. What can be achieved, without any change or reform in the electoral system, is to elect the best candidates from those who are standing for election. There is absolutely no good reason why each and every voter should not vote for individuals and not for parties. Splitting your vote is the real democratic option available to voters under the existing electoral system.
Do not believe the mantra of the parties that vote splitting is wrong or bad. It is not. It is the only way that the electorate can flex its muscle and tell politicians we are fed up and that it is time for them to change and to actually do what they are elected to do, namely represent each and every one of us. We, the voters, are in charge. We are the people who put you there. No Chief Minister is bigger than us or Gibraltar. At the next election SPLIT YOUR VOTE. Vote for those individual candidates (not parties or the Chief Minister) that you think are the best of (generally) a bad choice.
Hopefully, in this way, we will not give any party a majority. Hopefully we will end up with a coalition government. Such coalition could never be made up of the GSD with GSLP or vice versa but would have to be made up of Independents/PDP candidates and one or other of those main parties. Hopefully that will lead to more representative government. Hopefully politicians will get our message. They will set about reforms to reverse the democratic and electoral deficits that exist not least because the minority candidates would force the issue because it suits them, motivated by future electoral success, to do so. Let us not have to wait for a more violent form of change. That would destroy Gibraltar and only our enemies will gain.