Friday, 7 May 2010

We need electoral reform

So a hung parliament. Who'll be Prime Minister come Monday?

As I understand it the rules are Gordon stays in place until he resigns. However he could call up Nick Clegg and offer him a deal and remain as PM. Presumably if that is what happens they will be attempts early in the parliament, no doubt the vote to pass the Queen's Speech, to muster a vote against such a coalition. As I type this there are still 35 seats to come in so it still isn't clear whether Labour and Lib Dem combined will be enough or will Gordon have to turn to SNP or Plaid and offer them something?

Will the Conservatives get a chance? They'll need to rely on others support - but the Ulster Unionists their normal allies didn't do at all well.

Queues at the polling stations. People turned away at 10 o'clock. It was gratifying to see so much interest this time around and a high turnout but a shame the system seemed lacking in some areas.

But overall the bottom line is that even if the Tory majority was enough again we'd have a government voted for by the minority of people and many people I think may well have voted tactically leading to no doubt the slump in Lib Dem seats that was against the predictions.

What would I have? If I could I'd have a single transferable vote system... i.e. where you list in preference the candidates until you run out of ones you'd like to vote for. Then you'd work up eliminating the candidate with the lowest votes and moving their votes to the second choice and so on. It'll take longer on the counts obviously, unless we invested in an electronic system. What would that give - the candidate the least unliked probably rather than the one most liked but as I say in my constituency most people who voted didn't vote for the guy that has got in so in all this talk of mandates to govern the leaders need to think about what they are saying as you can call into question the legitimacy of the people filling up the seats to give them their so called mandate.

Would this lead to always coalition government? Probably - however we might then just get more grown up politics where rather than continual slanging of mud and insults across the chamber at Westminster. There would have to be more proper debate and moderation in the law making.

To me personally the best result of this election would be a reform to a PR voting system so that people felt that their vote really mattered and then see their views more likely to be represented in the government.

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