Friday, May 06, 2005

Britain Needs Electoral Reform

Thank fuck for the punch in the face that Labour received from the British electorate last night, but will it be enough? At the moment Labour's majority of 63 shows some hope for an end to government arrogance. For most people that arrogance was manifested in the Iraq war but for me it was Labour's disregard for the British constitution and personal freedom.

Many on the Left have long called for electoral reform in the form of some sort of proportional representation. However once Labour was swept to power in 1997 with a landslide it saw little point in helping the Lib Dems or fringe parties like the Greens. While electoral reform in the form of PR is seen by the Left as a way to enshrine Euro-lefty politics it would also help smaller right wing and populist parties such as UKIP, Veritas an the BNP. Most Tories are against PR because it returns week, even paralyzed government. The prospect of a PR parliament ever launching a major military operation to save Kosovo or liberate Afghanistan would be remote never mind going to war in Iraq. That's the bad side of PR(for me) but the up side would be that civil liberties would be protected by libertarians on the left and right. At the moment the British electoral landscape is severely tilted against the Tories where they have to beat labor by about ten percentage points to get a majority in parliament.

A system of first past the post coupled with the current electoral boundaries leads to a situation in which Labour gets 36% of the popular vote and receives 354 seats while the Tories with 32% receive 197. Something has got to change.


Blogger Chance said...

Are you really, you are not in the Unite States? I hate President Bush also! And I am sorry but you are wrong about the I.D. cards trading freedom for safety is a problem. We are getting them here! The Lib Democrats here don't want them.

7:09 pm  

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