10 May 2010

Tories won't offer Electoral reform

Andrew Pierce of the Tory PR departmentDaily Mail just said on BBC Breakfast that there is no way the Tories will offer real electoral reform. "Turkeys tend not to vote for Christmas", he said.

Personally I'd like to see a Lab-Lib-Others coalition (this 'Progressive Rainbow Alliance' people have been talking about) with three goals:

  • Get a process in place to get us out of this recession centered around improving productivity rather than cutting services.

  • Introduce electoral reform, I favour a form of Single Transferable Vote.

  • Call another election to be held within 18 months under the new system, so giving plenty of notice to parties and public and allowing plenty of time for people to learn how the new system works.

I do have two concerns about most of the Proportional Representation systems I've heard discussed. Firstly you vote for a party rather than an individual and you may find that you don't have an MP dedicated to your own area, someone that you can hold to account if they fail to deliver on their promises. Secondly (but linked to the first) any system based around party lists tends to favour party grandees and apparatchiks over radicals (this already happens to a degree with safe seats) and make individual MPs less likely to go against the party machine in defense or favour of their constituency.

Maybe something could be worked out with dividing the country into 10-12 regions of approximately equal population and the same number of seats. Require each party to set a list for each region with candidates appearing on one and only one list.

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