The Thick of It


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Electoral reformers should feel cheated

I'm not surprised that the Labour shadow cabinet today announced its opposition to the bill proposing a referendum on introducing the Alternative Vote (AV) to UK parliamentary elections. The bill proposes reform to a voting system that would do little to make our elections results fairer. It is also packaged in with boundary changes that while seeking to balance the size of constituencies would have an imbalanced effect on the state of the parties. 

Leftfootforward give a multitude of reasons why the proposals don't create a fairer election system. These proposals seem rushed through at best. At worst it is a botched job from a coalition that is far from committed to electoral reform. The Tories don't want it, while Nick Clegg himself dubbed AV a "miserable little compromise." Funny how he is prepared to accept this for a sniff of power.

Labour is right to oppose this bill. Lib Dems should follow because this isn't the sort of reform they want either. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to engage voters by creating a political system that values every vote. AV won't do that. Cutting the number of constituencies won't do that. I think the Tories really couldn't care less.

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