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Electoral reform debate

From Cllr Tim Swift

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

I've watched with interest the developing list of speakers for the debate about electoral reform in Hebden Bridge this Friday. I'm sorry I won't be able to come along and listen, and hope that perhaps some of the key arguments might be featured in this forum.

Personally, I am very surprised to find any Liberal Democrat supporting the alternative vote (and disappointed that Labour decided to back it in the run up to the last General Election).

It may be some years since the Jenkins commission produced a report on voting systems, but it is still worth reading what they concluded about the Alternative Vote:-

First ?... So far from doing much to relieve disproportionality, it is capable of substantially adding to it. Second, its effects (on its own without any corrective mechanism) are disturbingly unpredictable. Third, it would in the circumstances of the last election [1997], ?.. be unacceptably unfair to the Conservatives. ?... We therefore reject the AV as on its own a solution

I fear that in opting for a referendum on AV, the coalition government have come up with a choice that actually suits nobody. Perhaps that is the intention?

From Graham Barker
Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Having considered many complex arguments over the years for and against voting reform, I am now firmly of this view: the more loudly Labour and Conservative politicians oppose an AV system, the more I want one.