Electoral system referendum: Take it or Leave it

IandRgb mm at iniref.org
Wed Jul 7 14:17:46 BST 2010

Electoral system referendum announced

The Con/LibDem government has announced that a bill about the electoral
system will be submitted to parliament proposing a referendum on May 5,
2011, on whether to keep “first-past-the-post” or switch to another
system known as the Alternative Vote (AV).

Why must we be satisfied with the offer (see below*), made first by a
desperate Labour party last year, of such a bad “reform” of the
electoral system, “alternative vote”? New Zealand in the 1990s showed us
a democratic way to go from first-past-the-post to a fairer and
party-proportional system. In 1992 the people of New Zealand were asked
(a) if they want a change then (b) which of four electoral systems they
would prefer! The systems considered were: Mixed Member Proportional,
Supplementary Member, Single Transferable Vote, or Preferential Voting.
For descriptions of these consult the Electoral Reform Society or the
London School of Economics Guide at < >
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/?p=2356 < >

The Conservative/LibDem coalition’s plans are not chiselled in stone.
With an effective campaign one or more alternatives to AV and FPTP could
be pushed into the public debate and so widen eventual choice.

* See some comments:
Cameron Clear as Mud on AV. WSJ Blogs Iain Martin On Politics July 5,
2010 < >
http://blogs.wsj.com/iainmartin/2010/07/05/cameron-clear-as-mud-on-av/ < >

Nick Clegg July 2010 “Surely when dissatisfaction with politics is so
great, one of our first acts must be to give people their own say over
something as fundamental as how they elect their MPs.” < >
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE66434320100705 < >

I&R ~ GB Citizens' Initiative and Referendum
Campaign for direct democracy in Britain

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