Sunday, 7 February 2010

Brown's AV gamble to save Labour

Despite the narrowing of Cameron's poll lead in recent weeks, Labour still faces nemesis in the South of England, a step in a trend which threatens to leave it as a rump party in the NE and NW. Past Labour voters will either not turn out at all (and it's questionable whether the election as a whole will achieve even a dismal 50% turn out or not, such is the public disillusionment with politicians) or vote Lib Dem or BNP. And it's that choice that's driving Brown's adoption of the AV system.

In an analysis for the ST, Thrasher and Rallings from Plymouth Poly University estimated that 40% of those voting either Labour or Conservative would pick Lib Dem as their second choice. However, they estimate that Lib Dems picking Labour as second choice would outnumber those picking Conservatives by two to one. Labour candidates are therefore most likely to hoover up second preference votes, boosting their performance above results that would have been achieved under FPTP.

It's clear that Brown is far more concerned with distorting elections in Labour's favour than with the probity of the electoral system; our constituency boundaries support electoral quotas that would disgrace a banana republic, the electoral register is out by an estimated 7m voters (fraudulent registrations and mistakes - estimate by Michael Pinto-Duschinsky) and voting fraud in ethnic areas is rife - all factors that because they favour Labour, Brown has left well alone. He really is nothing but a chiselling little crook, who would rob the English people of a fair electoral system.

The Lib Dems, who would be the natural party of Localism were it not for their commitment to the most corrosive anti-localist full PR voting system, have also done nothing to push for the correction of these grievous anomalies in our electoral system.

Parliament is rotten, the parties are corrupt and our electoral system has been suborned. The first step for any politician serious about returning probity to UK democracy must be to tackle the electoral system itself - in three basic steps;
  1. A one-off re-basing of the electoral roll in January 2011 to coincide with the census, with proof of identity and nationality required for every person registered. Ending the right of Commonwealth citizens to vote in UK general elections would also assist in reducing illegal overstayers and false students.
  2. The rapid re-drawing by 2015 of constituency boundaries to achieve a universal electoral quota of +/- 5% of the average in each constituency, with the possible exception of the Isle of Wight and the remotest Scots islands.
  3. A return to the strictest tests for proxy voting that may include a declaration by a magistrate or GP, to eliminate widespread proxy voting fraud and personation.
I've also thought about compulsory voting, but am content to leave this on hold for as long as we achieve over a 50% turn out for general elections.

Cameron has indicated he will tackle number 2, but that's not enough. Not nearly enough.

3 comments:

marksany said...

Brown knows he is the best man to lead the country and that his ideas are right. If the people are too foolish to agree with him then he will twist democratic process to hang on to power.

It is the right thing to do.

William Gruff said...

What will be gained from compelling people to vote?

The Great Simpleton said...

I presume that point 3 includes an end to the much abused postal vote?