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Will we actually get electoral reform now?

May 8, 2010

I don’t claim to know which of the systems would work best for us, I only know that first past the post has been shown to be no longer fit for purpose.

We used STV (single transferable vote) for student union elections and that always seemed quite fair – you vote for who you really want and for who you’d take as a second choice if your first choice isn’t popular enough. You can withhold your vote from parties you really don’t like (in my case the BNP, English Democrats, UKIP and the Conservatives) and give weight to those you do. It works both ways of course, but that’s democracy for you.

I’m sure that Nick Clegg has given plenty of thought to which proportional representation system would work best for the Lib Dems – it’s true that this may not be the same thing as best for British democracy, but I’d rather trust him with the job of reforming than Gordon Brown (his conversion to reform has come too late) or David Cameron (eyes too firmly on the prize now).

There are all sorts of petitions and letter-writing campaigns going on as we speak, if you’d like to add your weight to the call for reform.

You can learn much more about the subject in general at the Electoral Reform Society; get stuck in at Vote for a Change; or head to 38 Degrees and add your voice there.

It may be naive to expect change quickly – but is it really too much to hope that the next time I vote it will be in fair, and fit-for-purpose, electoral system?

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