Saturday, May 08, 2010

How can they not change the voting system?

Labour will get five times as many MPs as the LibDems with only a slightly higher share of the votes. Yet the Conservatives still don't think a reform is necessary.

To the people that insist on not listening on the urgent necessity of political reform:

How can you justify the fact that, in Britain, a party getting 23 per cent of the vote get 57 seats while a party with a percentage of 29 take home 258 seats? How is that fair?

Can this system be defined by anything else other than political manipulation?

Labour obtained a few more votes than the LibDems, but in the Commons they'll get FIVE times as many seats. Surely even the most conservative of Conservatives will clock that it can't be right, or fair, or rational, let alone an encouragement to participate and vote?

Plus, it's not as if under the current first-past-the-post system stable majorities were guaranteed. Quite the opposite, as we've learnt over the past 48 hours.

So you may as well make votes count with a more proportional system while perhaps encouraging stability by other means (i.e. a 5% threshold to weed out smaller parties, like in Germany or New Zealand), or a majority prize for the biggest party to help governability and minimise messy horse trading (like in France).

There is also another aspect.

Over a third of the electorate (35%) did not pick either Labour or the Conservatives. You read that. Over TEN MILLION PEOPLE voted from a party that wasn't the big two. Yet the big two will together grab 564 out of 650 seats. Ten million voters will be represented in the Commons by the leftovers - a mere 13% of all MPs.

Lots of people will obviously see that their vote was wasted on Thursday. Another election like this and we'll be lucky to scramble together a 50% turnout.

So for David Cameron (who - remember- campaigned asking for "change") to stubbornly insist on keeping such a shabby status quo is just a massive pisstake.

Reports say that he's offered the LibDems an "all party committee of inquiry on political and electoral reform". Pathetic.

Because that's exactly what Tony Blair did when first voted in. He set-up an "Independent Commission on Electoral Reform" (which anyway came up with the obvious opinion that the system needs changing) and successfully brushed aside the issue for another decade.

So if Nick Clegg commits political suicide by settling for Cameron's offer, the question to the Lib Dems will be: is that what you were all about?

1 comment:

Anita said...

What you're not saying though (and this is totally from a nonTory perspective, as you know) is that FPTP is much more straightforward than PR. It alos maintains a crucial constituency link as opposed to PR.

However, I must admit I am peed off abt the election outcome...