Saturday, May 08, 2010

Whose Afraid Of PR?

Should the Tories really be worried by electoral reform? The idea of a "progressive majority" that enthuses many on the left rests on the assumption that people will continue to vote as they do if the system is changed. Not all Liberal Democrat voters are particularly left wing, many are basically centrist. Most countries with PR do not continually elect left wing governments.

Besides as both Michael Portillo and Simon Heffer point out today, electoral reform maybe something which is inevitable, so it is therefore a question of whether it is done in a manner designed to bolster the Labour Party's grip on power or not.

Given the tribal antipathy towards the Tories in many parts of the country it is possible that it could open up the possibility of a new force on the right that can appeal to groups who are set against them.

It could even be a really good means of stuffing the Labour Party, If they offered the Lib Dems a deal of AV+, with redrawn constituencies to neutralise Labour's inbuilt advantage of smaller electorates, and some restrictions on Union funding then they could finish Labour off.


asquith said...

STV wouldn't be so bad for me. I would then, presumably, have a wider choice in all respects.

Nothing to be scared of. As for the constituency link, you could just write with your concerns to whichever of your MPs was most likely to be sympathetic, or just the best & hardest working in general. Like you do on the council. Although all my councillors are cunts so that may not be the most favourable analogy.

Went to the football & pub after. So I don't know if this will be a good comment or a shit one.

Matthew said...

I don't think choosing an electoral system to 'stuff' another party is a good idea. Labour got 30% of the vote, so to try to deny them representation would be a mistake. Also Labour didn't receive an advantage in this election compared with the Tories on votes/seat (they were very slightly lower but that must be explained and more by turnout differentials).

Ross said...

Matthew- no it isn't a good idea, but I'm thinking in the context of Labour essentially toying with PR as a means of keeping the Conservatives out of power permanently. What's good for the goose being good for the gander and all that.

Anonymous said...

People on the right believe in free markets. PR mean that it is easier for new parties to start up. I.e. it enables the a free market for ideas.
(Look at Denmark and Holland for examples).

Therefore the Tories should support P.R - they don't because it would be bad for them.