Clegg has revealed himself as unashamedly corrupt; in failing to gain support for Lords reform, a measure that would have aided his party rather than the interests of democracy, he has declared his support for rotten boroughs. These rotten boroughs are a disgrace, an offence, in a modern first-world democracy. The variation in the electoral quotient (EQ) between constituencies is not more than 3% in well regulated democracies; Cameron's proposed variation of 5% is at the outside limit of most developed democracies. Currently, the variation in the EQ in the UK is off the scale - at third-world levels. Any politician who like Sir Patrick (now Baron Cormack) can say it's "Country, Constituency, Party. In that order" would recognise the urgency for constituency reform. To do otherwise is to declare to the nation that your interests are "Party, Constituency, Country. In that order." Clegg has declared this. His putting party before nation has destroyed any residual credibility onto which he may have clutched. And constituency reform is not all that's wrong.
Of the 45m registered electors in the UK, says Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, are 3m who shouldn't be there but are, and 3m who should be there but aren't. Labour's pre-occupation is with the latter - presumed to be transients, students, immigrants and other 'natural' Labour voters. This group will also include petty criminals and civil debtors not eager to be easily found, anarchists and extreme Libertarians and even those who have just given up on our flawed democracy. Of the 3m who shouldn't be on the roll, some will be genuine duplicate registrations. Many will be fraudulent, particularly in areas with large Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrant populations where electoral fraud is rife. Many will be from the army of Commonwealth overstayers who have settled illegally in the UK with minimal efforts at finding them being made. Labour is far less keen on measures to identify these 3m than measures to identify the 'missing' 3m - for purely Party reasons, of course. However, individual voter registration is underway - and, it is to be hoped, a combing-out of the worst of the inaccurate registers. This should be accompanied by a registration drive, to find the missing but willing.