Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Voting reform - but not yet

Brown may come to regret his cowardice on this. He boldly announced yesterday he will do nothing on voting reform whilst spinning the message he will do everything. Bringing in alternative vote in place of first past the post for Parliamentary and council elections is a good first start that can be done rapidly. Brown chose to announce merely a referendum on this mild reform will be included in Labour's manifesto.

The reality is that Labour will be defeated and the referendum will never be implemented. He can make the offer to spin the message that he represents "change" (despite 12 years at the heart of government) whilst keeping the dinosaurs and reactionaries of his own party (typically Labour in the North East) happy by making an offer of reform which he knows he will never have to keep.

Spin over substance - how typically Brown. 10 out of 10 for polished spin, 0 out of ten for competent governance.

The interesting point is that voting reform could be the change that saves Labour but if they are kicked out at the general election, they may never get the chance to implement their own survival. After all, the Tories aren't going to bring in AV. Despite the history of the past 12 years, and the huge hurdle they face in going from where they are now to a majority government in one election, a study of elections over the past century shows that the current system benefits the Tories. Too many in Labour are too short-sighted (or too stupid) to realise that.

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