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.


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.