Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Electoral reforms

A new york times reader, Jim Ryan, notes "Proportional representation is a major step upward in the evolution of democracy, and it's high time it came to a major English-speaking nation." This comes in the wake of the 2010 United Kingdom general election where the Liberal Democrats won 23% of the popular vote and got less than 8.8% of the seats in the parliament. According to BBC
Labour finished with 258 MPs, down 91, the Lib Dems 57, down 5, and other parties 28. The Conservatives received 36.1% of votes (up 3.8%), Labour 29.1% (down 6.2%) and the Lib Dems 23% (up 1%).
Nick Clegg is reported to have said that the "electoral system is broken" (CNN). BBC points out that Mr Cameron did not pledge a referendum on changing the voting system. It remains to be seen how much flexibility the Tories will be able to show. Meanwhile, not to be outdone, Mr Brown said he was prepared to talk to Mr Clegg should talks between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories fail. 

The Lib Dems campaigned on a platform of change and fairness. In terms of electoral reform, their election manifesto called for a complete overhaul at Westminster "fair votes, an elected House of Lords, all politicians to pay full British taxes" (bottom right)  
top priorities for the Liberal Democrats
BBC has more on electoral reform in its Q and A. 

As I write this, Gordon Brown is stepping down as prime minister. BBC reports that "Tory sources confirm that Nick Clegg will be deputy prime minister and that there are four other Lib Dem cabinet ministers." We will have to wait and see how things work on the issue of electoral reforms.

Update: The Economist visualizes the results.

1 comment:

Please be kind.