When 2nd best is actually best!

Another note on proportional representation. We elect MPs for two purposes, to represent us in Parliament and to choose a Prime Minister.

Sometimes the best and most supported answer is a compromise of 2nd bests which only a Parliament can deliver. i.e. the former role is more important.

Opponents of PR, within the LP, have a vision of a Labour Govt., exercising the powers of the elective dictatorship, (presumably without the corruption) ruling on the basis of a minority plurality. This always ends badly.

As other’s have said, the UK’s system i.e. FPTP is little used in democracies, and truth be told, not used in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales or London.

PR may or may not benefit Labour or the progressives in the UK, but the UK is a ‘flawed democracy’ and something must change to ensure this kakistocracy is never repeated. …

Fair votes at Labour Grassroots

Crispin ran a show on PR, which he invited me to speak at. I was surprised to hear Howard Beckett speak in favour and it was a good speech focusing on what we want our parliament to look and behave like. The full show is behind the preceding hyperlink, I am on towards the end, my contribution can be viewed in the hyperlink/screen below.

I tried to say that this is about great and broad principles, how we choose governments, what sort of parliament we want, and how governments construct their coalitions. I take a pop at those who want a short cut to obtaining untrammelled state power without doing the campaigning and persuading necessary to win power, and those who think that the constituency link as it is worth defending. There wasn’t time to talk about the unhealthy forces that FPTP imposes on the Labour Party, nor on the impact on democracy of the size of the parliament, about which I have a planned blog. …

Fair Votes

I have been in correspondence with “Make Votes Matter”. There’s more to be said, but I think it’s how we need to go; we need a House of Commons based on a proportional “Additional Member System”, like the GLA and the devolved nation assemblies. Their model motion text pasted, and they say, “… below is taken from our website. There’s some strong claims in it, so we also a one-pager of supporting evidence available here.”

Conference notes that the UK is one of only three major developed countries to use a First Past the Post voting system for general elections.

There is consensus among experts that First Past the Post has a strong right wing bias wherever it is used, leading to parliaments and governments that are on average much more right wing than the voters.

This corresponds exactly with the UK’s experience. Most votes went to parties to the left of the Conservatives in 18 of the last 19 general elections, yet the Tories have been in power for 63 per cent of this time. Instead of building a society “for the many”, this has created one of the most unequal societies in the developed world, with some of the most restrictive trade union laws.

Conference believes we need a Labour government to reshape society in the interests of workers and our communities. But it is imperative to realise that the current voting system offers no protection against later Conservative governments tearing up these hard fought gains as they have in the past. The world’s most equal and progressive societies all use forms of Proportional Representation which prevent rule by a right-wing minority and lock in the hard-won victories of their Labour movements.

Conference therefore resolves:

– To adopt a policy of opposing First Past the Post and instead supporting moves to explore, select and introduce a new voting system for the UK.

– To call for the Labour Party to do the same and to commit to including the voting system for general elections in the remit of its planned constitutional convention.

I moved this at my Union branch last night. The meeting decided to drop the second and third paragraph and to weaken the firsts resolves.

The motion will not be sent to Congress due to the 3 motion limit. We decided to send something else. …

Fair Votes

Fair Votes

The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) has produced a report on the general election. It’s subtitled, “Volatile Voting, random results.”  First Past the Post (FPTP) claims to be designed to deliver Governmental stability, but in the last three elections, it has failed to do this twice. Furthermore it exaggerates local & regional differences, e.g. Scotland, Wales and the SE, where the leading parties margin of victory in terms of seats is higher than it’s vote warrants and the losers are under-represented. In this article, I have summarised what I see as the main themes and illustrated what ERS believe to be the impact of implementing a fairer voting system. I also make the point that different systems will cause different behaviour and I finish with a look at Germany’s PR system and a call for smaller constituencies in the belief that it will lead to a better relationship between MPs and their electors. …