Friday, May 07, 2010

Why can't we have the Parliament we asked for?

Yesterday the British people voted for a Parliament that looked roughly like this:

Conservative 36% 234 seats

Labour 30% 195 seats

Lib Dems 23% 150 seats

and others who I'm too tired to work out.

instead we got a Parliament that looks like this

Conservative 36% 300 ish seats

Labour 30% 260 ish seats

Lib Dems 23% 55 ish seats

and others who are also being shafted.

That is an absolute outrage. Both Tories and Labour are way over-represented and the Liberal Democrats are way under-represented.

To me it's essential that whatever government comes together in the next few days, changing the electoral system to make it fairer.

A whole load of organisations have formed the Take Back Parliament website where several thousand people have signed up to support the campaign. There are various demonstrations planned around the country for tomorrow. The Scottish one is in George Square at 2pm and they say to wear something purple, the traditional colour of campaigns for suffrage. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter.

Oh, and by the way, Dave, if you think for half a second that we'll fall for your talking shop idea on electoral reform, then that shows that you just don't get it. For the avoidance of doubt, you can take a running jump on that one. Mind you, maybe you and Gordon have been talking to each other behind the scenes to stitch us up - by seeing how low you can set the bar for reform. We need something meaningful, and that's not Gordon's referendum on AV either.


Matthew Huntbach said...

Well, not quite. 66% of the population voted Labour or Conservative. Both Labour and Conservative hold to the position that an electoral system which distorts and squeezes out third parties is a good one because it is more likely to provide stable one-party government.

So, it seems to me that implicitly a vote for Labour is a vote for sole government by the Tories is theories get more seats and vice versa. That's the two-party world they want. So it would seem to me to hypocritical in particular for Labour to complain if we say "OK chaps, we lost, you lot won, so we'll give you what you want".

A government of either Labour or Tory, none of this nasty third party stuff, is what 66% of the population voted for.

Let them have it. Tough, if they had wanted coalitions, they should have voted for us. We're tired, we put a lot of effort in for little reward, let the winners sort things out, we lost.

neil craig said...

The Parliamentary commission on the subject depends on the detail - if it debates for a month it is a useful way for the Tory leadership to reverse their polict without to much embarrassment. If it takes 2 years it is an attempt to delay. However since such a body will have Labour members who (suddenly) support PR it is virtually certain it will either come up with PR or break on party lines - both of which would discredit any refuasla of a referendum. I think the Tories are biting thjis bullet.

Equally if the LDs break on anything but PR they will discredit any claim not to be merely Labour in sandals & lose half their votes. Equally if the Tories break by refusing the electorate a chance of a PR referendum the electors would punish them. I'm sure Cameron knows this.


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