What would Clement do?

A Labour blog that witters on about Clement Attlee. Hurrah for The Major!

Voting Reform – The “Big Guns” come out against…

So, as of this morning, we know exactly who we are up against. In some cases, this is a shame – I think Margaret Beckett simply wrong-headed on this, others, such as William Hague are no surprise. Sad to see Ken Clarke making a serious mistake, but no matter.

The headlines will no doubt be full of the big hitters, and pointing out the high profile Labour people involved…

To Prescott, Beckett, Nick Cohen and the others who no doubt sincerely believe that they are doing the right thing, I can only say “ARE YOU REALLY SO FOOLISH?”

We know that this double-barrelled Bill will pass, leading to massive Gerrymandering during the seat redistribution, possibly rendering a Labour-Led Government distant possibility. We know that the farce of “safe” seats and one-party fiefdoms in Local Government have led to some awful, incompetent, and sometimes corrupt administrations dominated by nepotism and patronage.

The one chance we have to mitigate its effects, and the first chance since The General Election to seriously dent the Conservatives, is by maximising the Yes Vote in April.

AV is not perfect, but it is a start. The anger and disconnection between Government and people has not gone away, why on Earth would we wish to see the Conservatives safely esconsed with the Lib Dems?

There will be very few Conservatives in the Yes campaign, and most will certainly be united against change – unsurprising really, given their origins as the anti-reform party. Labour input would at the very least give rank and file Lib Dems cause to think about who they would rather be in coalition with…

…wouldn’t it also be a wise move to show a little trust in Ed, who is supporting the Yes Campaign?

Come on comrades, get involved with the Purple People…

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4 thoughts on “Voting Reform – The “Big Guns” come out against…

  1. Thanks Peter, but I would make it sound good wouldn’t I?
    I think there are a number of reasons that senior politicians oppose these proposals, not least organisational conservatism – after all if you have been in The House for 30-odd years, why would you want change? Others will see this as a quick way to defeat the coalition, and hopefully demoralise the Libdems, thereby forcing an early General election. On this I believe they are fundamentally wrong – this coalition will last until 2015, barring “events”.
    A true Conservative would be honourably against all clauses of the Bill, in adherence to the principles stated in The Tamworth Manifesto, and good luck to them.
    The downside from my point of view is that the AV plus 1 system, advocated by The Jenkins Enquiry would have had the best parts of this proposal, as well as injecting an element of proportonality – thereby reducing the dominance of Labour in some areas, and The Tories in others – no bad thing if you live in Suffolk or Hackney, I would suggest.

  2. Peter Reynolds on said:

    You make it sound wonderful. What’s the downside? Why so many senior politicians against it?

  3. Thanks for popping by Peter, I will try to make the case for reform…
    The Alternative Vote is the only option on the board, so I won’t bore you with other options:
    1. It would mean that every MP would have to fight to secure at least 50% of the votes cast to be elected. This could lead to politicians having to re-connect with those they now ignore. Instead of simply concentrating on a few “floating voters”, candidates would need to finally take into account the needs and wishes of a majority in their constituency.
    2.AV would retain the vital constituency link between voters and MPs.
    3. Unlike the present coalition, or any previous ones, Party managers would have less say as to the make-up of Governments – after all, no one can tell you where to put your second preference in the Ballot Booth.
    4. It could change the boundaries of Consensus in Britain.
    5. It would start to end the Rotten Borough-like status of safe seats, and could open the way to a more vibrant political culture.
    6. It would go a little way to ameliorate the effects of the non-consultative Boundary redistribution and arbitrary culling of seats that will take place anyway under this Government.
    7. As a system, it is already in widespread use by many non-Governmental organisations in Britain today – Student unions, Trades unions, political parties etc.
    8. It could lead to a more consensual for of Government – I doubt the Fox Hunting Bill would have been possible under AV, nor The Poll Tax.

  4. Peter Reynolds on said:

    So what, exactly, are the benefits of AV?

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