Friday, January 25, 2008

The story everyone missed

Or maybe it was the story the government buried, I'm not quite sure. But amid all the excitement of the Hain resignation, the fact that Nu Lab has once again appeared to knock electoral reform on the head has inevitably received little attention.

I'll be saying a lot more about this in my weekend column in The Journal, which will be posted on Behind the Lines at some point tomorrow, but I have to say this goes down as a major, major missed opportunity by Gordon, both in terms of his attempts to restore trust in the political system, and in terms of positioning his party ahead of an election which in my view has hung Parliament written all over it.

Yesterday's announcement from Justice Minister Michael Wills stated that the review of electoral systems across the UK had found that voters in Scotland and Wales were "confused" by proportional representation, and ruled out its introduction for Westminster.

This was one of the areas where I and many others hoped that Brown would display more radicalism than had been the case with Tony Blair. Slowly, inexorably, those hopes are fading.

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Barnacle Bill said...

Probably reform of our voting system will be forced upon us by the EU in the future I fear Paul.

Anonymous said...

This is a really interesting story, because I spent time reading the report and at no point did it downplay Pr as worse than FPTP, only "different". It stated quite clearly that confusion for voters can be avoided by not using "combined" elections for two vote systems, and by potentially designing ballot papers better. It also says PR quite clearly would make elections more proportional to actual voter wishes and backed that up with the various elections it compared.

So the fact everyone is coming out as if this report concluded that FPTP is superior is baffling, especially since the report didn't actually come to any conclusions, it just gave comparative statements.

It's also interesting for the government in any way (and any person) to state that they'll continue with FPTP unless the public say otherwise in a referendum. When will we get such a referendum or is "referendum" just the next big buzz word for the public despite no referendum ever being held?

Anonymous said...

I've also left some comments about that piss poor BBC article (after complaining about it to them) on my site referencing back here. I'm really quite angry about the way the government have treated the outcome of this report and how the media would seem to wish to report it.