The Thick of It

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shirley Porter would be loving this

Politicos have long anticipated the Tory instigated boundary review and seat reduction. Now that the provisional plans have been released, they show what those of us on the left suspected: a reduction in seats benefits the Tories.  Britain's political boundaries, like those in many other countries such as the USA, mix geographical areas with common identities together with artificial political boundaries. That these are being shaken up doesn't matter that much as people will get used to the change.  What matters is the motivation behind these changes. To this end I can only see political advantage to the Tories driving this.  Citing a reduced cost of politics might sound amiable but it doesn't work when set against a higher social cost of having fewer MPs. This is especially so in urban areas, where most of the reduction is happening. This is why Labour and the Lib Dems are facing the greatest losses.  Modern MPs who do their jobs properly act as social workers for their constituents dealing with a host of problems, from immigration cases to housing. Lengthening the queues to see the remaining MPs doesn't make sense.  It also doesn't make democratic sense as it takes our representatives further away from voters. With his supposed classical liberal credentials I wonder how Nick Clegg let this through. Then I remember how he gambled everything to get the AV referendum. He lost that, his party will lose from the seat reduction. Unfortunately voters will too.  - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

3 comments:

David Boothroyd said...

Although one of the ironies is that Westminster is one of the worst arrangements for the Tories. North Westminster is divided into two Labour-inclined seats, while south Westminster becomes part of ultra-safe 'Westminster and Kensington' where the Tories will pile up a uselessly large majority.

Baiterboy said...

Recent Scottish elections have show that the C21st British electorate is not going to behave by the old two party tribal rules any more. Politicians can no longer rely on "safe seats" - the old certainties are vanishing.

Tim McLoughlin said...

The Scottish elections use a fuller version of proportional representation which makes it a more multi-party bunfight. Westminster is stuck with first past the post which favours a two party contest in most seats. This can easily be upset by focused campaigning, such as from the Green Party in Brighton, but it is incredibly difficult.

Throw into the mix the possibility of Lib Dems doing very badly and we have a very different set of election parameters in four years time.