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Posts Tagged: Electoral Reform

Proportionality

Friday 6th May 2011

Looking at the results in the AV referendum so far, something occurs to me.

At the moment, it’s running at 32% in favour of AV, 68% against. The regional results are somewhat interesting though: 7 for, 314 against.

In this case, the regional results are not important. The winning side will be whoever has over 50% of the vote, which is as it should be. If, though, this was for representatives, the picture would be different, because the votes of 32% of people would amount to 2% of the representatives.

Nothing new, and I have no idea whether the regional boundaries used here are the same as those used for normal elections. But it’s yet another illustration that electoral reform is desperately needed.

AV wouldn’t have solved this issue, but it would’ve been an improvement on FPTP. The fact that so much of the population has rejected it – and therefore bought into the propaganda from the No campaign – is somewhat concerning actually.

People moan about politics and politicians, yet rejected a system which would’ve made them more accountable. Very odd.

As an aside, I’m even more amazed at the general backlash against the Liberal Democrats, but not against the Tories – or Labour, whose actions in government have fundamentally caused much of the mess that the Coalition Government are trying to fix. Do people really have such a superficial grasp of politics? How depressing.

Posted In: Politics Tagged: | 1 Comment

This is Rather Spectacular

Monday 5th July 2010

Nick Clegg retreats on no-confidence votes.

Nick Clegg today performed the first big U-turn of the coalition when he announced rules to guarantee that a simple majority of MPs will be able to vote down a government and trigger a general election.

The fuss about the dissolution of parliament (not the passing of no-confidence votes, which is a different thing) centred on the proposal for the requirement of a 55% majority to pass a vote to dissolve. The argument centred on how parliament should require a simple majority to dissolve, rather than the 55% limit. Opponents of this policy said that this limit was engineered to allow the coalition to decide when to dissolve parliament (which betrays a colossal misunderstanding of current parliamentary procedure, but that’s somewhat incidental at this point).

I really don’t understand how this is a U-turn. The opposing argument was that a simple majority would not be sufficient to dissolve parliament, and today Clegg has announced that actually the government will introduce a higher requirement – a 66% majority – to dissolve parliament. OK it’s different to what was originally proposed, but it’s not exactly a U-turn and it’s certainly not bowing to the opposition. I mean, they wanted it to just be a majority of MPs, so if they were thinking straight they would be even more opposed to the higher limit. As far as I can tell, the initial announcement back in May had nothing to do with changing the rules for no-confidence votes, and was all about moving power for dissolving parliament away from the Prime Minister and instead giving MPs that power. Today’s announcement doesn’t change that at all, so where’s the “big U-turn”?

I guess I shouldn’t expect anything else from the Grauniad though…

Clegg is currently trending on Twitter, in response to today’s announcement. A lot of it is negative, with some people saying things like “well I voted Lib Dem, and I won’t make that mistake again”. Huh? The Liberal Democrats have never been coy about their commitment to electoral reform, so the things Clegg announced today really shouldn’t come as a shock, especially to people who voted for the party. I mean, I’d sort of expect those people to have an idea that the people they voted for are committed to such major things!

Quite honestly, I can find nothing controversial in the announcement (except perhaps the date), so much of the negative reaction is a bit perplexing really.

Posted In: Rant Tagged: | 7 Comments