Friday, 11 September 2009

PR test for Cameron - and a solution

With the polls indicating a wipe-out for Labour, leaving them as a rump regional party of the north-east and north-west, desperation is leading the failed party to including a referendum question on PR with the election.

This is outrageous. If Labour now wants to support PR, it should make it a manifesto pledge to hold a referendum if elected; to try to bludgeon both the electorate and Cameron's government in the act of a drowning rat grasping at floating straws is unforgivably partisan manipulation. The aim, of course, is to force Cameron, in the event of a referendum 'yes', to doom himself by refusing to continue with the necessary legislation.

But Cameron has an easy way out. PR is a Statist electoral system with a bias to central Statist parties and against localistic politics. If Cameron means what he says about Localism, he can trump Labour by introducing direct democracy at the local level; not one referendum, but a thousand, together with cuts in existing party funding (see above) and an explosion in local responsibility. If Localism emerges as one of Cameron's electoral pledges, he can go into the election - and Labour's outrageous referendum - portraying Labour as desperate opportunists determined to maintain power at the cost of true democratic choice.

2 comments:

Budgie said...

Who will believe Liebore? They have already ratted on one promised referendum.

wildgoose said...

They won in 1997 promising electoral reform - a promise that vaporised when they realised they had been given elective dictatorship.

And as Budgie says, we didn't get the promised referendum on the EU Constitution/Lisbon Treaty either.