Yes to Fairer Votes – getting involved.
On 5th May 2011, you have a chance, perhaps the only chance, to change our voting system for the better. The Coalitions’ Reform Bill, portrayed by Clegg and Co. as the biggest constitutional change since the 1830s will pass, very much unamended.
This means that there will be less MPs, further tightening the grip of both Party Machines, and by extension our wonderful “Political Class” on power over us. The boundary changes in this legislation also mean that in effect, a large-scale gerrymandering will take place, and Labour could be kept out of power for a decade or more. Spurious cries from the right of the House that The independent Boundary Commission had rigged its last reviews to favour Labour hold no water – this is not redistribution, this is a culling of 50 seats – at a stroke your MP becomes much more distant from you, in the name of “fairness”, and at root, economy. One question…
SINCE WHEN DID ECONOMY TRUMP DEMOCRACY???
There is only one potential remedy for this, namely a victory for the Alternative Vote (AV) in the Referendum. Anyone who has voted in thier Student Union elections, Trades Union elections, or recent Labour elections knows that AV is pretty simple.
You mark the candidates in order of preference, e.g. 1st,2nd,3rd and so on, as you wish. The candidate with the least votes is eliminated, and their second preferences shared out amongst the remaining candidates. This continues until there is one candidate with over 50% of the votes. This means that every MP would have to have a majority to win. Easy.
This could lead to a much smaller number of safe seats, making our politicians work much harder for our votes. It would also temper the other parts of the Bill mentioned above,which will surely pass. For those of you who voted Labour last May, and would like to see this Coalition out, this is a vital step in the right direction, given the mountain we will have to climb if it does not pass.
AV is not a proportional system, and it does keep the link between constituencies and MPs intact, meaning we still get to bother them with lobbying, surgeries and the like. If the Yes vote wins, then an elected House of Lords becomes a real possibility at last.
An element of proportionality could be added by a future Labour Government by simply amending the system to the “AV+” system recommended by the late Lord “Woy” Jenkins in his report on constitutional reform.
If we lose, the Tories could be in power for a generation. Think about it. Look at Suffolk County Council – a very “safe ” Tory Council, or look at Tower Hamlets under generations of Labour rule. We have the chance to take some power back, so lets use it.
Join Take Back Parliament, or log on to this site for Fairer Votes: http://www.yestofairervotes.org/