Sunday, May 09, 2010

Don't sell out on electoral reform !

Any deal with the Conservatives will be worthless if it doesn’t deliver electoral reform. I don’t expect Cameron to offer it and, if he did, his party would never deliver it. Nor would a so-called confidence-and-supply deal be any good. It would reap for us the opprobrium of all those voters who supported us to stop the Tories but would gain nothing in return. To update Jeremy Thorpe, “6,827,938 people did not vote Liberal to put a Conservative government into power”

I do not understand those who fear a referendum on PR, as already offered by Labour. The public mood is strong for constitutional reform. Whenever before did we see demonstrations for fair votes across Britain ? I marched in Bristol with several hundred and shoppers applauded and cars hooted their support. Many Labour activists also support PR. If we do not have the courage to seize the chance for fair votes, we don’t deserve to be in politics at all.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I'm likewise perplexed that any supporters of an change in the electoral system should fear a referendum on it, least of all since one might expect voters to have a say in how they vote. It's surely no greater an obstacle than getting it past 650 MPs all elected under FPTP.

As it is, we're now promised a vote on some measure of reform: more with Labour, less with the Conservatives. The priority now is getting a decent deal on social justice: I fear many LibDem voters will be far less forgiving of a return to 1981 than of an arrangement that brings AV rather than a chance of PR.