I shall be suggesting that if every complex society needs systems of representation, we have to come to terms with the fact that legitimacy is never a matter of electoral majorities alone. Good, “legitimate” government involves both direct election and mechanisms for representing:
–concerns that are of longer-term importance than electoral cycles allow;
–minority interests that can be silenced by large electoral majorities;
–groups with conscientious reservations about aspects of public policy; and
–the expertise of professional and civil society agents that will not necessarily be engaged in party political elections.
In a word, I believe that if there is a “democratic deficit” in our governance in the UK, it is best addressed by taking all of these issues together and looking at what most strengthens civil society groups and local democratic mechanisms, rather than seeking a solution primarily at the level of national electoral systems.