Monday, 26 April 2010

Clegg's arrogance on PR - it's our choice, not yours

Clegg has made clear that his price for joining the Conservatives in coalition is a change in our electoral system from FPTP to PR. There's only one problem. It's not a gift that's in Cameron's hands; any change in our electoral system will require a national referendum. The most that Cameron can offer is the referendum. Clegg also has that unfortunate Fedarist belief prevalent amongst EU officials that it's perfectly legitimate to use tax money to sway public opinion by unashamed biased propaganda, and no doubt will expect Cameron to use the State to bend public opinion towards a PR outcome.

The split between those who support PR and those who oppose it is essentially a simple one. Do you think that an MP should represent their constituency, or represent their party? PR is the choice of the political class, because it strengthens the role of the party in our political system. For that reason alone I unequivocally oppose it.

Clegg and the LibDems are also strongly supportive of State (read tax) funding of their party - so much easier than having the inconvenience of members. Cable's price for agreement with Labour on State funding was risibly narcissistic; a State limo and driver for the leader of the Libdems.

I have no doubt that Clegg will also demand of Cameron the support of the Conservatives for State funding of the main parties as the price of Coalition. If Cameron should sign up to this, he will have earned my undying hostility.


wildgoose said...

And yet our electoral system still requires a measure of reform.

I support Approval Voting. This is a simple modification to First-past-the-Post whereby you put a cross against ALL the candidates of whom you approve. Whoever gets the most approval wins.

No wasted votes.

You can vote against a party by voting for all the others.

You can vote for one party alone just as we do now.

You can even put in a blank ballot paper to express your disapproval of all the candidates standing. (And we could even add a modification such that if the blank ballots are greater than the highest candidate approval then a new election must be called with a fresh slate).

And mathematically, for a single member constituency there is no fairer system.

What I would utterly oppose is Alternative Vote (or AV+) which give the deciding votes in a constituency not to everybody, but just to the extremist fringe.

Anonymous said...

I suspect you are right wildgoose. Personally I would support drawing constituencies after people have voted and having overlapping constituencies so that the maximum number of people can be represented by an MP they voted for. Probably too complicated to ever gain enough support to ve implemented.