The coming year will see a general election, with the possibility of a new government. Many expect (and hope) Labour will win.

Whatever the outcome, things have to change, if our democracy is to sustain.

The antics of the present Conservative administration have brought the whole political class into disrepute. The Downing Street parties during Covid stand out in the hall of infamy.

Then, there is our unfair and unrepresentative electoral system.

The last election saw just 14 million vote for the Conservative Party, yet it won a majority of 80 seats. Some 17 million voted for the other parties and 23 million did not vote at all.

The system is so skewed that the election is really decided in a few marginal seats. 

Political commentator, Ian Dunt, has highlighted the better deployment of resources in these constituencies. Better to get ill in a marginal, they have more hospitals.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Paul Donovan wants a proportional representation electoral systemPaul Donovan wants a proportional representation electoral system

There needs to be a change in the electoral system to proportional representation. This would see a fairer reflection of how people vote in Parliament. Everyone would believe their vote counted.

Then there is selection. Are the people representing the electorate really the best on offer? Are they people from the communities, campaigners, prepared to stand up for others? Do they have skills that can be utilised and when they do, are those skills used?

There needs to be change made in the selection processes of all parties to encourage people with the skills from all backgrounds to come forward and represent their communities.

Also, at the top in terms of leadership elections something needs to change. The merry go round of incompetent leaders to take up the role in the Tory Party has not served the country well, from David Cameron and Theresa May to Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

On the subject of selection processes, a look across to the US shows what can happen. There, former President Donald Trump stands indicted with a number of criminal and other charges. Yet, even if convicted, it seems possible he will go forward as the Republican candidate at the next Presidential election.

If Trump wins that will effectively be the end of democracy in America. 

There is much that needs to change, to restore, if not save our democracy. There needs to be leadership that looks outward to embrace change, not inward, struggling along with more of the same.

  • Paul Donovan is Labour councillor for Wanstead Village ward, Redbridge Council and a blogger (