Just messing around on Twitter when the following question was asked: The politics of voting reform.
How can PR be an attack on democracy, when the level of representation in parliament would be proportional to votes?
I need a little more space than allowed on Twitter to answer that question, hence the blog, read on! It is late so the best way to work through this is with a series of bullet points.
- In reality PR is just a hiding place for politicians and makes them feel more secure because effectively they are always in or close to power and very difficult to remove! I can hear you all now saying, rubbish PR makes politicians more accountable, don’t be fooled, Nick Clegg and the Lib Dem’s will tell you that but beware! If a politician tells you he wants a change in voting to make them more accountable the result will be the opposite.
- PR almost guarantees a coalition which means manifesto’s will be worthless because policy will be decided AFTER the election, no one will have to keep a promise they don’t want to because they will just blame it on the coalition agreement! The politics of ‘not me gov’, the Lib Dem’s who are pushing for this change have had decades of making popularist policy on the hoof knowing they will never be held to account and they just want a voting system which allows them to continue in this vein.
- PR guarantees power for the 3rd party, the Lib Dem’s of course see that as their birthright, and assuming the Lib Dem’s are able to retain that position they will just switch between the Conservatives and Labour whichever has the most seats. The Lib Dem’s have no real stance or principles that just want to be guaranteed power, without real responsibility and they will sail in any ship available.
- Because policy is decided by horse trading AFTER the election, deals are done, promises kept or broken and the seeds of corruption are sown. Believe me, despite all the scandals with the last Labour administration we currently have, by a country mile, the least corrupt political system in Europe and probably the world and I think one reason is that we have the FPTP voting system which really does make politicians accountable.
So there we have it, the YES to AV are pushing for a system which
- Guarantees power to the Lib Dem’s
- Means you will never know what you are voting for until it is too late!
- Makes it very difficult to remove a bad administration
- Potentially sows the seeds of corruption
I would prefer to elect a strong government based on policies laid out before the election so that the electorate can hold the government accountable and kick it out if need be, to achieve that we need FPTP and with the equalization of the constituency voting numbers it will be the fairest and most effective voting system in the world. Finally, I am profoundly uncomfortable with a failed political party guaranteeing itself not only a seat but a permanent seat at the top table, only the 2 main parties will move in and out of power as opinions change. AV/PR, truly an assault on the very foundations of our democracy, one man one vote etc. VOTE NO to AV on 5th May and kill PR for good!