Posts Tagged ‘Alternative vote’

Electoral reform

May 26, 2010

So we are going to get a referendum on the alternative vote. Will it make any difference? Probably not. I guess that someone could go through the figures and see what would have happened if the votes for the smaller parties had been redistributed to the larger parties.

I suppose that it does have a couple of things going for it, there will be no more tactical voting (if such a thing actually exists) and a vote for a small party will not necessarily be wasted. I suspect that the Liberal Democrats will go a bit quieter on PR when they realise that they will be picking up a good few second choice Labour votes under AV where Labour is increasingly coming third.

Will anyone be brave enough to tackle the real inequalities? Why do the people of the Isle of Wight get to return a single conservative MP, when the same number of voters in the north of Scotland get to return three Liberal Democrats and a Scottish Nationalist to the house of commons. I think it is a little unfair that Scotland gets an extra nine MPs compared to other areas with the same electorate. Correcting that anomaly alone would have made a significant difference to the new government.

Map showing England and wales as Conservative and Scotland as Labour

The UK with fewer MPs

There is also talk of reducing the number of MPs. I guess that logistically that will help if they can all fit into the house of commons at once, but the real advantage will be to see more even representation. Small populations of niche voters will no longer be able to swing the vote and the political map will be much more evenly coloured if adjacent constituencies are merged. Take the Eastern region where if Hemel Hempstead is merged with Luton South, Bedfordshire with Luton North, Norwich South with Central Norfolk, Colchester with Witham, Cambridge with Cambridgeshire South and Norfolk North with Great Yarmouth the colour of the map would represent the majority. We must never forget that democracy is a compromise between everyone having their say and no one.

Is a constituency of 150,000 voters too big? I don’t think so. The savings in having fewer MPs will enable the purchase of a couple of helicopters for those with the trickier constituencies, I can’t see that Charles kennedy would be complaining about that.

Charles Kennedy MP banging his head on tghe door of a Helicopter as he gets out.

Charles Kennedy better get used to getting in and out of his Helicopter

Suzie x