Monday, May 5, 2008

Opportune time for Westminster electoral reform

The 1997 Labour party manifesto said:

We are committed to a referendum on the voting system for the House of Commons. An independent commission on voting systems will be appointed early to recommend a proportional alternative to the first-past-the-post system.

That independent commission reported back yonks ago with a very sensible suggestion. Is it not now high time that the Labour government held a referendum on its proposal, as promised in 1997 ?

From Labour's point of view, it faces being being slaughtered at the next general election and then spending ten years at least in opposition. It has at least some chance of securing a fairer future for its voters through implementing voting reform for Westminster elections in the next two years.

From a broader point of view, voting reform is well overdue.

So perhaps, at last, Labour's self interest has coincided with the right thing to do on voting reform....

You never know, Gordon Brown could at least go down in history as the Prime Minister who at last reformed Britain's primary voting system. At the moment, it looks as though he'll go down in history for precious little else...that's positive, that is.

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